No one wants to take drugs, but headaches/migraines can be so debilitating sometimes it feels like there are no other options.
Having been in Chiropractic for 20 years nearly, next to back pain, headaches/migraines are the most common symptoms I see. Most people’s only advice is to just pop more pills so they can get through the day. This can be to make it through work, get the kids to school do our hobbies. Unfortunately, the truth is long term use of drugs like aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, naproxen etc leads to liver, kidney and stomach damage. Accounting for thousands of deaths a year in the UK alone. This can’t be the only way to manage your symptoms!
The best ways and advice I’ve given to patients over the years to manage the problem, is always look to the root cause of the problem. It’s not a shortage of the above-mentioned drugs in our body! Modern day stress is huge, we are all under more constant pressure than ever. Work pressure, financial, children, trying to fit in an exercise regime, good nutrition and a social life at the same time and often failing!
So, here are some simple tips…
- Dehydration is probably the number one cause of headaches, that’s why we all have headaches when we get carried away on a night out. The average adult should be drinking 2.5 Litres a day and more when exercising. If you struggle to keep track, you can get a large reusable bottle that contains the full days’ worth.
- Reduce mobile media especially before you go to bed and get your screen at eye level so you’re not looking down, even better get a standing desk!
- Get enough sleep, go to bed earlier the hours before midnight count as double to the ones after. Don’t sleep on your front either worse position to cause neck stress which can cause Headaches/migraines. Try to sleep on your back or side with 1 firm pillow that keeps your spine aligned. Ask us in the clinic for the best pillow and mattress recommendations.
- Stretching and massage is a great way to relieve tension and stress in the neck muscles and shoulders again a very common cause of symptoms. Ask for our neck and shoulder exercises at reception or book a massage with our in house therapist.
- Get out in the fresh air and walk more, try to look straight ahead with your chin away from your chest, making sure you’re not carrying a bag on one shoulder (Use ruck sack with the straps tightened instead).
- Try to cut junk food with artificial colours and flavours another very common cause. Also high levels of sugar and caffeine will cause headaches and migraines and obviously alcohol.
As well as doing all of these healthy habits get your spine checked. The vast majority of patients I’ve seen over the years with chronic headaches and migraines respond great to Chiropractic care.
We analyse the neck through range of motion, postural tests, nerve scans and x-rays. I often find the neck has lost its natural C curve, putting pressure on the cranial nerves and causing a lot of referred symptoms. We identify exactly where the spine/nerves are under pressure, remove it and restore natural function back to the spine allowing people to live their life as normal and pain free.
Don’t let headaches/migraines rob you of the quality of life you deserve, it affects everything from your efficiency at work to enjoying and doing your hobbies to the quality of relationships you have with friends and family. So, don’t let you and your loved ones keep popping the pills get checked by your Chiropractor today!
Dr Jason O’Connor