Say Goodbye to Headaches: What Causes Them and How to Find Relief

Smiling woman stretching

Headache Types: The Facts You Need to Know

Death, taxes, and…headaches? Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point in their life, and over 50% of people will deal with the effects of a headache in a given year. Fortunately, headaches are rarely life threatening. But for people dealing with chronic headaches, they can dramatically impact your quality of life.

The International Headache Society has classified over 150 different types of headaches. The most common are migraines, tension, and cluster headaches. Knowing what kind of headache you are dealing with is the first step toward finding the best care plan to find relief.

Migraine: sensitivity to light and sound is common during migraine headaches. Approximately 1/3rd of people will experience an aura before the onset of a migraine.

Tension: Almost everyone will experience a tension headache during their life. Stress, anxiety, dehydration, and even posture can trigger a tension headache.

Cluster: Affecting more men than women, cluster headaches cause severe pain behind or around your eye and last between 15 minutes and 3 hours.

Now that you’ve identified your headache type- it’s important to know why it’s happened. Often, a few simple changes in your daily routine can potentially reduce or eliminate chronic headaches for good. Next week, we’ll cover the top 3 causes of headaches so you can take your first steps towards prevention.

The Top 3 Causes of Headaches

A variety of factors can cause primary headaches. The good news is that many lifestyle
factors are habits and patterns you can control. Discover the top 3 causes of headaches in our new blog.

A variety of factors can cause primary headaches. Understanding a few of the most common causes of headaches will give you the information to make the changes needed to find lasting relief! The good news is that many lifestyle factors are habits and patterns you can control.

Ironically, one of the most common causes of headaches is the medication usually prescribed to treat headaches. Overusing over-the-counter medications is a leading factor in a refractory or bounce-back headache, so pills may not be the best option for care. Many tension headaches start with repetitive motion and poor posture while sitting or standing at work. Keeping your shoulders back and your spine in proper alignment throughout the day can help prevent future episodes. And finally- most of the good stuff like coffee, cheese, alcohol, and meats have substances that can cause headaches. You don’t need to eliminate them, but we recommend having a watchful eye towards moderation.

Medications: Many commonly prescribed pain-relieving medications (including those prescribed for headache relief) list headaches as a top side effect.

Foods: coffee, cheese, alcohol, and many types of meat contain substances that can contribute to headaches.

Posture: forward head posture due to long hours sitting or standing at work is a primary factor in the development of tension and cervicogenic headaches.

Do you see anything in the top 3 causes that may be contributing to your headaches? Taking a proactive step of improving your posture and ergonomics at work, moderating the foods that cause headaches, or asking your medical doctor about the side effects of medications and potentially finding alternative treatment options may help you reduce the frequency, severity, and impact of headaches are having in your life.

How to Find Natural Relief from Headaches

Finding natural relief for your headaches doesn’t mean you must join a food co-op and start eating granola with every meal. Many leading healthcare organizations now recommend natural or organic healthcare solutions because of the reduced dangerous side effects, high patient satisfaction, and fantastic treatment results.

Three of the most effective natural solutions for headaches include magnesium, chiropractic care, and B vitamins. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to migraine headaches. Taking a magnesium supplement can reduce the occurrence of migraine headaches without any of the side effects typically associated with painkillers. B vitamins are a powerful natural way to reduce stress and improve mood. If stress is a significant factor in your headaches- B vitamins may be a natural fit for relief. Finally, postural changes and muscle tension are the leading causes of migraine headaches. Chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce headaches’ frequency, severity, and duration. That’s what I call a winning trifecta!

Magnesium: Low levels of magnesium have been reported as a risk factor for
migraine headaches.

Chiropractic: Researchers have discovered a reduction in the frequency, severity, and duration of headaches for individuals under chiropractic care.

B-Vitamins: These powerful vitamins have the potential to help reduce stress and improve mood, which are essential factors when finding relief from headaches

As you can see, finding natural relief from headaches can be easy. What would your life look like if you could reduce or eliminate chronic headaches?

Headaches Every Day? Read This…

Life can be busy and stressful. Sound familiar? If so, you may be more likely to develop headaches that become more frequent and severe. It could be related to a lack of quality sleep, nutritional challenges, or even postural issues contributing to a vicious cycle of daily headaches. These chronic headaches are a good indication that your body needs attention.

Daily headaches are a signal from your body that something needs to change. Depending on the foods you eat, the stress in your life, and how you move your body and spine can increase or decrease the likelihood of experiencing headaches. While researchers have struggled to place an exact cause on every type of headache, they have discovered various risk factors that can lead to chronic headaches.

Your brain doesn’t have any nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. Headaches are felt by the tissues that support your brain, head, and neck.

Researchers have discovered a close link between what you eat, your stress, and hormone levels, and how that can impact your chances of developing chronic headaches.

A balanced diet, consistent sleeping patterns, and chiropractic care have all been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing chronic headaches.

Next Steps:

Daily headaches aren’t something you “have to live with.” Top research publications have found chiropractic care provides 50% more relief to headaches without the risky side effects typically associated with drugs and medications. To learn more, tune into our weekly video series, Research That Matters TV.

Science Sources:

Mayo Clinic. Headache. 2018

Medications and Substances Causing Headache. Medlink: Neurology. 2017

Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. Journal of Neural Transmission. 2012

The effect of 90-day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Human Psychopharmacology. 2011

Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache: a single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial. BMC Central. 2017

Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. SPINE 2010

Leave a Reply