Headaches are something most people have dealt with at some point in their life. While over-the-counter medication can be an effective relief for this problem, chronic use can be very hard on our body. The good news? Other options exist.
In this post we will talk about some natural options to relieve or prevent headaches, as well as examine a few different types of headaches, their symptoms, and relief options.
The most common type of headaches are tension headaches. These result from muscular tension in the neck and shoulders that is putting pressure on the cervical spine.
These are typically worse at the end of the day after a long day of sitting or standing in the same position or when a person is under stress.
Tension Headache Overview
- Pain Type: Mild to moderate pain in your head that is often described as feeling like a tight band around your head.
- Causes: Most common theories suggest tension headaches occur when there is a heightened sensitivity to stress.
- Natural Treatments: Shoulder & Neck stretches and stress management.
Tension Headache Treatments
- Shoulder & Neck Stretches: For relief for these type of headaches a good place to start is doing anything that helps to reduce the muscular tension in the shoulders and neck. Shoulder and neck stretches as well as chiropractic and massage are all tools to utilize for this (for specific stretches check Active Life’s youtube channel).
- Stress Management: The second thing you can do to reduce these types of headaches is stress management. While this is directly related to muscular tension, when we are stressed out our shoulders and neck tend to become very tight.
Cervicogenic headaches are another common type of headaches that we see in our office. These are similar to tension headaches, but instead of the muscles causing the problem it is the joints of the neck (cervical spine).
This can have a multitude of reasons why it occurs. Any form of whiplash or neck trauma is a common one, as well as prolonged sitting with improper posture.
Cervicogenic Headaches Overview
- Pain Type: Mild to moderate neck pain and cervical muscle tenderness are common symptoms. Pain source is in the neck and often perceived in one or more regions of the head and/or face.
- Causes: The cause is usually from a neck disorder or lesion that can arise from an accident or injury, even improper posture.
- Natural Treatments: Chiropractic adjustment, strengthening exercises.
Cervicogenic Headaches Treatments
- Visit a Chiropractor: For a correction of this type of headache, it is recommended to see a chiropractor to get the joints of the cervical spine functioning properly. In addition, there are several strengthening exercises that can be performed to help rehabilitate these muscles.
Other Natural Remedies for Headaches
Regardless of why you are getting headaches there are a few other helpful tips that can cause or make worse any type of headache.
- Hydration: The first is hydration. Always make sure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day, especially in the summer months. A good amount of water to take in is half of your body weight in oz.
- Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: Next is make sure you are avoiding artificial sweeteners. There has been a proven link that people can be sensitive to these chemicals, and this can cause headaches or trigger them.
- Focus on the spine: Lastly, make sure to get your spine checked. If our spine and joints are not functioning properly it can set off headaches or just make us feel less then 100%.
If you ever have any questions about what chiropractic can offer you give us a call at (573) 250-7427!