Did you know that Chiropractors treat many of the causes of headaches?
Headaches are so common that almost everyone takes the odd one now and again for granted, but you may be suffering more than you can cope with.
More than 10% of the UK’s population suffers from headaches. They are the most frequent reason people seek medical advice. Most migraine sufferers have their first attack in their early 20s and three times as many women as men suffer from migraines.
How many types of headaches are there?
There are over 20 varieties of headaches, but the most common are tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches (resulting from problems in the neck).
What causes these headaches?
Tension headaches are as a result of stress causing tense muscles in the back of the neck, due to many factors.
What are the symptoms?
Tension headaches create dull pain on both sides of the head, no nausea and are long lasting. Exercise is still possible and they could also be described as “live with it” headaches.
Chiropractic is not, like aspirin, a temporary headache treatment. If headaches persist, the Chiropractor can often find where the source of the pain is and reduce the recurrence.
Painless Chiropractic adjustments to the neck, muscle strengthening and stretching exercises are performed and self-help advice is given to sufferers. Posture correction will prevent the frequent return of headaches and patients must continue with Chiropractic care until corrected, understanding that some long-standing problems will take longer.
Relaxation could be more effective than pills for “tension” headaches. Sufferers may consider having lessons in relaxation techniques.
Drugs are only effective in reducing the pain of attacks and rarely reduce their frequency.
- Make sure that you do not sleep on your front as this causes your neck and spine to twist.
- If you tend to wake up on your front, place a pillow on either side of you before sleeping, this is to help avoid turning onto your front.
- Try cutting out certain foods (see list below)
- Relax in a quiet environment.
In the event of an attack:
- lie down and try to sleep
- drink lots of water (2-3 glasses should suffice)
Some people find dietary changes help with headaches, this may be effective especially if it is combined with treatment to the neck, which can be the cause of headaches.
Substances to try and avoid
- Chocolate and crisps
- Red wine
- Beverages containing caffeine
- Monosodium glutamate e.g. Chinese and fast food
- Most tinned and dried soups
- Yeast breads
- Sausages, beef burgers and pies
- Cured meats
- Mature cheese
Behaviours to try and avoid
- Too much sleep
- Too little sleep
- Excessively vigorous exercise
- Missing meals
- Environmental stimuli-especially stress and tension
- Bright lights
- Loud noises
- Strong odours
- Emotional Stress