Avoiding Headaches

Lincoln Park Chiropractic - Avoiding Headaches - WellnessMost of us have had a headache recently.  Whether it be from a long and stressful day at work, poor posture from working at your computer for long hours, certain sounds, lights, or food smells, or even a long night of partying, when they come on, we will try anything and everything to rid of it!  Commonly, taking something over-the-counter can be helpful (medication treats the symptoms, not the larger problem/cause) and catching up on your rest during the busy holiday season will also allow you the R&R that your body needs.  There are 2 common types of headaches: Migraine and tension.  Below will be information about each, how they may be caused, and how you can avoid them.

Migraine Headaches

  • Have a 24-72 hour window (called an aura), where symptoms come on prior to getting a migraine-Nausea, vomiting, sound and light sensitivities
  • Pulsating, throbbing, sharp, and achy pain on 1 or both sides from back of head to behind the eyes
  • There can be a family history associated with migraines
  • Migraines can be from stress, menstrual cycle irregularities (heavy flow, painful menses), sudden weather changes, food/smell sensitivities
  • Usually improved with rest in a cool, dark place and applying ice for 20 minutes on, then off for about 2 hours over the back of your head or on your forehead with something between your skin to avoid burning
  • Managing stress, avoiding the foods/smells that may lead to these headaches and changing your diet are all ways to decrease the risk of migraines
  • Specifically, with diet, avoiding dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), eating more protein, and less carbohydrates/processed foods lowers inflammation within the body

Tension Headaches

  • Start in the afternoon building with intensity (last minutes to days)
  • Feel a lot of pressure, tightness, tension on the back of the neck and shoulders that spreads to 1 or both sides of the head and stops at the temples
  • Can be caused from poor posture and stress
  • Stretching, applying heat 20 minutes on and then off with something between your skin too for about 2 hours, and improving your posture will help to alleviate these headaches
  • Posture tips include sitting upright against the back of your chair with your feet flat on the floor; keeping your shoulders and head from coming forward- We like to call this the “Turtle syndrome”
  • Managing stress levels through proper diet (high protein, low carbohydrates), exercise, and stretching of the muscles of your neck and shoulders for up to 40 seconds can reduce the risk of developing a tension headache

Also, these 2 headaches can be helped with chiropractic care if you have been experiencing these headaches and have learned to deal with them because of their regularity.  Attacking the cause is the most important way to determine how you can get rid of these and do what you enjoy!  If you have any additional questions about this post or anything else, please call the office to see if Dr. Marion can help.  Stay tuned for next month’s tips and have a safe and happy holiday season!

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