lady-with-heaache

Cure your Headaches in 9 Simple Steps!

 

 9 Simple Steps to get rid of headaches fast!

Many things can cause headaches. Deadlines. Arguments. Traffic jams. Alcohol. Generally speaking headaches are your body’s response to physical or emotional stress. A number of factors including nerve irritation, blood vessel dysfunction, muscle tension, poor posture and brain trauma are also associated with headaches but the true cause is still unclear.

 

This can make treatment and management of headaches tricky for patients and their doctors. Since there is not one single cause of a headache, it’s important that treatment targets ALL of the contributing factors. At Mountain Health & Performance we have extensive experience treating all types of headaches. When we address muscle, joint, and nerve dysfunction in addition to at home self-care provides we see great results with our patients.

 

The four most common types of headaches include: migraine headaches, tension-type headaches, cervicogenic headaches and cluster headaches. It’s important to make an appointment to see your chiropractor in order to correctly diagnose the type of headache that you have. This way you will ensure that you get the specific treatment that you need. For more information on headache classification check out the IHS website: https://www.ichd-3.org/ or check out or conditions page here http://www.mountainhp.ca/conditions-treated/Headaches/
Medications may be needed to manage severe and or chronic headaches like migraines but there are also great ways to manage your head pain naturally. Here are our top 10 ways to beat headaches!

 

1. Chiropractic Manipulation & Mobilization:

 

Current randomized control trial studies (the gold standard in research) have shown that spinal manipulation and mobilization is effective in reducing the frequency of migraine headaches. Spinal manipulation affects the nervous system and helps to decrease pain and nerve irritation. It can also help to improve mobility and reduce muscle tension in the neck, which may be contributing to or worsening headaches. Spinal manipulation of both the neck and the upper back can provide relief from neck pain and headaches.

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 1.21.53 PM

 

2. Myofascial Release Therapy (ART & FR):

 

Studies have found soft-tissue therapy (i.e.: massage or myofascial release) helps to reduce migraine headache frequency and intensity. Tension in the muscles of the neck can irritate the nerves, which pass from the back of the neck, over the head and into the face. Tension in the facial and jaw muscles from grinding, clenching, eating & frowning can also lead to headache pain. This pain may be felt in the temples, jaw, teeth, behind the eyes and in the forehead. Headaches that stem from the neck (cervicogenic), tension headaches and migraines can all be effectively treated with myofascial release therapy.

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 1.21.59 PM

 

3. Stretching and Mobility Training:

 

Stretching and mobility work are important because they maintains the effects of treatment. Following a few treatment sessions, there will be decreased tension, and improved joint mobility. Day to day activities, stress, sleeping position etc. can all quickly reverse the benefits achieved from treatment. This is why it is important to get regular treatment in addition to doing the correct stretches and exercises. Our chiropractors will make sure you have a specific stretching program to work on following treatments.

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 1.22.04 PM

 

4. Physical Activity:

 

Regular exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. Warm up slowly because sudden intense exercise can trigger a headache. If you already know that intense activity triggers headaches try out slower paced exercises like yoga or pilates. These exercises will also have the additional benefit of stretching and mobilizing the spine and myofascial system. Yoga and pilates also help to strengthen the back and core, which can help prevent tension in the neck and upper back, especially during long periods of sitting at a computer.

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 1.22.13 PM

 

5. Diet:

 

Many people with headaches find that there are specific foods or drinks in their diet that can trigger headaches, this is especially true for migraines. Foods that are known to trigger migraines include the following:
  • Chocolate
  • Aged cheese
  • Salty foods
  • Processed foods
  • Skipping meals
  • Alcohol, especially red wine
  • Food additives (sweetener aspartame and MSG)

 

red-wine-glasses

 

6. Relaxation and Stress Reduction:

 

Most people find that stress is a major trigger for their headaches. Since we can’t always control our life situation it’s important to incorporate daily or weekly activities into your schedule, which help you to reduce stress. This may include:

 

  • Gentle exercise
  • Being in nature
  • Mindfulness
  • Baths
  • Steams
  • Saunas
  • Massage
  • Meditation

 

 Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 1.22.20 PM

 

7. Complete a Headache Diary:

 

This is an important step if you are suffering from migraines or frequent headaches. There are likely headache triggers that you are aware of however there may be additional triggers in your environment/foods that you could avoid to help manage your headaches better. Headache diaries also help you to track your exact symptoms, and the frequency and duration of your headaches which will help your health-care provider correctly diagnose your headaches. Common triggers include:
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Medications (birth control pills)
  • Intense exercise
  • Medications (birth control pills, nitroglycerin)
  • Caffeine
  • Hormonal changes (menstruation or menopause)
  • Environment (weather changes, high humidity)
  • Sensory stimuli (bright lights, sun glare, loud sounds, strong Smells like perfume, pain thinner and smoke).
  • Computer screens

 

howtowriteadiary

9. Supplements & Herbs:

 

Recent clinical research has shown that two natural agents can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks by up to 77%. The herbs butterbur and feverfew have been shown to reduce migraine frequency. Butterbur is a herb that can block key steps in the production of migraines by inhibiting inflammatory triggers. They also have anti-spasm effects on blood vessels and can also help to promote normal blood flow to the brain. Feverfew helps to relive muscle spasm and prevent constriction of blood vessels in the brain (one of the leading causes of migraines). It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on blood vessels. A daily supplement that contains butterbur and feverfew is a great adjunct to the treatments discussed above.

 

Other helpful supplements include: high potency multi vitamin and mineral, essential fatty acids (anti-inflammatory) & magnesium. At Mountain Health & Performance we sell MigrainEx which contains standardized grades of butterbur and feverfew. We also sell essential fatty acids and multi-vitamins. Please ask the front desk about prices and availability. As with all supplements and herbs check in with your doctor or naturopath before taking to make sure there are no interactions with medications you are currently taking.