Headaches are so common that some people actually think it is normal to have a headache everyday however it is not.
According to the World Health Organization, about 47 per cent of the adult population worldwide experiences at least a headache within the year.
Causes of Headaches
Abnormal interaction between blood vessels, nerves and the muscles of the head and neck region usually cause headaches.
There are different types of Headaches:
- Migraine – Can be hereditary; usually brought on by lights, noise, certain smells, foods etc. Usually resolves after the causal agent has been removed.
- Tension Headaches – Caused by stressful events from work, marriage, school, tiredness, too much alcohol, dehydration etc.. Resolves usually by rest, stress relief mechanisms(music, exercising etc)
- Hormonal headaches – Usually in women during menstruation/menopause.
- Cluster Headaches – The least common but most severe. You may get cluster attacks of 2 – 3 headaches a day for 2 weeks or even 3 months. After which they may subside and return later. Usually a one-sided headache, throbbing/piercing pain.
- Chronic Progressive Headaches – Caused by another disease or infection. Cancer, hypertension, aneurysm, clots, HIV etc. Usually gets worse with time in intensity and frequency.
- Acute Headaches (In Children) – Usually short-lived. Could be due to trauma ( a fall or accident), ear, sinus or throat infection. Usually resolves after the infection clears.
- Sinus Headaches – Brought on by sinus infections, colds etc. Pain is usually in the forehead, cheekbones, jaws etc.
Treatment: Least invasive to most invasive.
- Chiropractic – Research has shown that many headaches are as a result of a misalignment of the first two neck vertebrae, the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2). A gentle neck adjustment done by a Chiropractic physician can remove nerve interference and restore the communication between the brain and the structures in the neck and the upper back area thus relieving the headache.
- Massage – Tight muscles due to bad posture can also cause headaches. Therapeutic massage of the neck and upper back area can help the muscles in that area to relax and also bring relief.
- Nutrition – It is essential to eat a balanced diet to get all the different vitamins and minerals to maximize the efficiency of all the body’s cells, tissues and organs. Sometimes starvation or malnutrition can also cause headaches. Being dehydrated is also a common cause of headaches. Drinking a lot of water in this instance will give you relief from that headache.
- Exercise – Exercise releases ‘feel good’ hormones into your body and can help you de-stress thus helping you to manage the headache better.
- Pain killers – Important to get prescribed medications. Pain killers may masking the symptom temporarily and may prevent proper diagnosis of Headaches. Be sure to get a proper diagnosis from your medical doctor and a prescription for medication before you use this treatment.
- Surgery (If all else fails) – When there is a tumor in the brain, for instance, causing constant headaches sometimes only surgery can be performed to remove the tumor and then you may get some relief from the headache.
Headaches are so common that some people actually think it is normal to have a headache everyday however it is not. If not treated well it can lead to decreased productivity at work and even affect relationships at home. Do not take it lightly. Get a proper diagnosis and treatment from your local Chiropractor today.