The most common reason why clients visit my London Chiropractor office is to relieve back pain or to improve their posture. However, some clients also visit the office to deal with general health problems like persistent headaches.
You might be surprised to learn that chiropractic care can help to reduce headaches, but a sore head can sometimes be related to musculoskeletal issues. By addressing the underlying musculoskeletal problem, the severity and frequency of a client’s headaches can be greatly reduced.
In this post, I will share a few of the common causes of headaches and explain how a chiropractor can help reduce the frequency of certain types of headaches.
What causes headaches?
The World Health Organisation has found that about 50% of the world’s population suffer from headaches each year. This makes headaches one of world’s most common medical ailments.
Migraine, a severe form of headache, is experienced by about 14.7% of people worldwide annually and 2% of people have chronic migraine headaches. These statistics clearly show how common headaches are. Unfortunately, headaches can also be quite debilitating, affecting a person’s lifestyle and ability to work.
There are many potential causes of headaches including:
- Eye problems or eye strain
- Disorders of the nervous system
- Injury to the head, neck or spine
- Poor posture
- High blood pressure
- Muscular tension
- Dental or jaw problems
- Poor diet
- Certain medications
- Medical disorders affecting the ears, nose or throat
- Hangovers caused by excessive alcohol or drug use
- Exposure to extremely hot or cold temperature
- Dehydration severe enough to affect blood pressure
- Exposure to very loud noises
- Temporal arteritis (inflammation of the artery at the temple)
- Medical conditions like arthritis, meningitis, influenza
Common types of headaches
One of the keys to reducing the frequency and severity of your headaches is to determine the root cause of the headache. Fortunately, some types of headaches have specific symptoms which makes finding the root cause easier:
Headaches caused by stress or tension within the body
Stress and tension headaches will often feel like there is a tight band of pressure around the head. You may also experience tension in the muscles around the neck and shoulders. This type of headache can be treated by reducing stress and fixing poor lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, posture). They can respond well to osteopathy, physiotherapy or chiropractic care.
Headaches caused by dental problems
Headaches that also affect the face or jaw often relate to dental problems like jaw misalignment or tooth infection. You may also be grinding your teeth in your sleep, which is causing headaches in the morning.
Headaches caused by infections in the nose, throat or ears
Infections can cause blockages in the nose, throat, or ears that cause headaches. You should be able to easily identify this kind of headache as you will also be suffering from infection symptoms at the same time (swollen glands, inflammation, swelling). Antibiotics, antihistamines, and decongestants are normally used to treat the underlying cause of this kind of headache.
Headaches caused by eye problems
People with poor vision often suffer from headaches. If you have long-sightedness or an eye disease and notice yourself squinting a lot, it may be the cause of your headaches. You might also notice that headaches occur after spending a few hours on a computer, watching television or using some other electronic device. This type of headache often occurs when your eyesight is blurrier than normal or your eyes feel very tired and sore.
Headaches caused by diet and food
Some headaches can be triggered by a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, caffeine withdrawal, food additives, and naturally occurring chemicals in certain foods. To identify this type of headache, you may have to keep a food journal that details what you ate each day.
Headaches caused by medication
Many types of medications can cause headaches, including blood pressure medication, vitamin pills, oral contraceptives, and hormone replacement therapy. This type of headache may occur shortly after you begin the treatment or progressively worsen over time.
Ways to reduce the frequency and severity headaches
So, how do we go about reducing the impact that headaches are having on your life? Here are a few simple yet effective tips:
Limit your time on electronic devices
Headaches caused by eye strain are often associated with excessive computer and mobile phone use. Cut down on your screen time to determine if it is the cause of your headaches.
Visit my London chiropractor office
As a chiropractor, I can perform a physical examination to determine if your headaches are related to poor posture or a musculoskeletal disorder. Chiropractic care can correct any underlying issues and give you some relief from your headaches.
Pain relief and rest
One way to reduce the severity of a headaches is to take some over-the-counter pain relief and have a lie down. Close the blinds in your bedroom and make it as comfortable as possible before resting.
Take steps to reduce your stress levels
If you suspect your headaches are related to stress, anxiety, or tension, take steps to make yourself a calmer person. Some of the most effective techniques for reducing the likelihood of stress-related headaches are to exercise regularly, meditate, talk to a therapist or get a massage.
Improve your lifestyleTake steps to improve how healthy your lifestyle is. Try exercising more often, cutting down on caffeine and sugar, and eating more vegetables. If you suspect your food is causing your headaches, keep a track of precisely what you are eating. If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to address it.
Have a physical examination performed
If you still aren’t sure about the cause of your headaches, talk to a doctor. They will give you a thorough physical examination to determine if there are any health problems that may be triggering them. If a medication is causing your headaches, your doctor may be able to switch you to an alternative treatment.
If you are suffering headaches I and my team of chiropractors are here to help you at MotionBAck Chiropractic Clinic in Central London. You can call our clinic on 0207 112 5408 or Book Online on our website here.