Headache & Migraine Treatment

What is the difference between a headache and a migraine?

A headache can be categorised as pain or discomfort in the head or face, however, it’s a broad category with many variations. The most common headache type is a tension headache, caused by stress, anxiety, muscle strain and eyestrain. There are however 150 different types of headaches classified to date. With tension headaches, migraines, cluster headache being the most common. 

A migraine affects around 10 million people aged 15-69 in the UK and is amongst the most common neurological reason for attending A&E. Migraines are generally more intense headaches which are accompanied by other symptoms such as: light sensitivity, vision changes or sickness. Some migraines can even be loss of speech, visual changes WITHOUT a headache.

What are the top causes of headaches?

Persistent headaches can be very problematic for the sufferer, affecting mood, concentration, and motivation. Here are some common triggers for headaches. But it’s important to remember, a neck and head which has underlying physical tension is far more likely to be triggered by one of the following.

It’s important to understand that with proactive steps, you can set yourself up for success. If you recognise any of these common causes of headaches you can take action to minimise the impact, and maybe, get rid of those headaches for good. 

Medications
Ironically, one of the biggest causes of headaches can be the very thing you take to get rid of them, many commonly prescribed medications (including those prescribed for headache relief) list headaches as one of the top side effects. It is important to remember that all medications have both a positive and a negative.

Food
What we eat can affect our heads, with coffee, cheese and alcohol all being prime suspects for persistent headaches.

Posture
Forward head posture is a leading cause of tension and cervicogenic headaches. Lack of mobility through the mid and upper neck joints, accompanied by increased muscle tension at the back of the head can all contribute to a headache

Hormonal
A hormonal imbalance or cyclical headaches are quite common. Which is why often female migraine and headache sufferers often feel better post-menopause

Eye Strain
Out of date prescriptions, prolonged short focus, blue light or concentration strain can all contribute to a headache being triggered

HOW CAN CHIROPRACTIC HELP

Chiropractic can help headaches by restoring the natural function of cervical spine, and reducing the muscle tension in the neck as movement is restored. 

In this day and age we spend our lives in high stress states often with poor posture, it’s no wonder then that our body’s start to struggle. In the case of headaches, as our heads drop forward, the muscles at the back of the neck have to work harder to support the head against gravity, this, coupled with mental and emotional stress can start to cause chronic tension in the back of the neck and head, 

With targeted adjustments, a chiropractor can restore normal function and tone which will often result in an improvement of symptoms of headaches.

How can I help Headaches Naturally?

Take a magnesium supplement, low levels of magnesium have been linked to migraine headaches.

Chiropractic care. Researchers have found a reduction in frequency, severity and duration of headaches in sufferers under chiropractic care.

B-vitamins, have been linked with reducing stress and improving mood which can be essential factors in improving headaches. (Research study here)

Behaviour changes. Allowing your eyes to gaze into the mid distance every 20 minutes when you are working at a laptop can allow the muscles to relax a little. Moving your neck and spine frequently when you are sat for a prolonged time.

What else can we help with?

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