Natural Headache Relief
Almost everybody experiences headaches at some point in their lives.
You may often feel it in the back of your head or behind one of your eyes. You might have a throbbing headache that seems to affect your entire head or make you feel nauseous.
Luckily the causes of most headaches are not serious, and natural headache relief options are both safe and effective.
The Tension Headache
Tension headaches are the most prevalent type of headache. Almost 75% of those who suffer from headaches almost always experience a tension headache.
Possible Causes of Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are usually caused by vertebra in the neck or upper back that have shifted out of alignment. This can cause a muscle called the rectus capitis posterior minor (RCPM) muscle to spasm. The RCPM muscle is connected to a pain-sensitive tissue that covers the brain. When the RCPM muscle spasms, it pulls on that tissue and a headache results. Those working long hours on a computer or constantly on their phone often experience these types of headaches.
A second cause of tension headaches is the levator muscle which runs down the side of the next. Many people who have experienced a whiplash injury after a car accident may experience tension headaches because of tissue damage that occured during the accident.
The Migraine Headache
75% of people who experience migraine headaches are women, but many men experiencing them as well.
How it Feels
- Intense, throbbing pain
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- “Aura” or flashes of light just before migraine headache starts
- Can last for hours or days
Possible Causes of Migraine Headaches
Migraine headaches result when the blood vessels in the brain are constricted and then dilated. This decreases blood flow – causing visual symptoms. Dilated blood vessels cause an increase in blood pressure inside the head. This leads to a painful pounding feeling in the head that matches the heartbeat. Every time the heart beats, it sends pain signals to the brain through constricted blood vessels.
There is no definitive evidence as to why some blood vessels constrict. However, there are several headache triggers that those suffering with migraine headaches can avoid:
- lack of sleep
- light that flicker on and off
- weather that changes suddenly
- foods high in amino acids
Headache Relief Through Chiropractic Treatment
Studies have shown that chiropractic treatment is extremely effective in providing headache relief for tension headaches. Though each patient is different, through a thorough chiropractic evaluation and exam, chiropractors can determine a course of treatment that will eliminate the cause, restoring motion to the joints.
In many cases, chiropractors adjust the upper two cervical vertebrae as well as the cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper back) areas of the spine. Once proper motion and alignment are restored, chiropractors provide patients with exercises and suggest lifestyle changes to help avoid headache triggers in the future.
Headache Triggers to Avoid
- Stress – Keep a headache journal and identify how you’re feeling emotionally, the stresses in your life and or what you’re eating when your headache occurs.
- Certain Foods – Avoid nitrates. Nitrates dilate blood vessels and can be found in processed meats (lunch meats, bacon, etc) Look for nitrate-free deli meats and hot dogs. Avoid foods high in amino acids such as ripened cheeses and chocolate. – Sorry all you chocolate-lovers!
- MSG – Monosodium Glutamate can cause headaches. Check the labels on soy sauce, chicken bouillon and meat tenderizers and look for anything labeled “flavor enhancer.”
The more you learn about what triggers your headache, the more quickly you can choose the best course of action to prevent it in the future.
The 11 chiropractors at Fulk Chiropractic in Olathe specialize in headache relief through chiropractic care. Open 7 Days A Week, they provide services to the Kansas City area when their patients need it most. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or call 913-764-6237.