If you are a headache sufferer, there are a few things that you can do naturally to help the headache:
- Headaches are often caused by triggers. Triggers can include foods, environmental stimuli (including noise, light, stress, smells, etc.), and behaviors (such as lack of sleep, exercise, posture, etc.). Learn if your headaches have any triggers and avoid them.
- If you spend a lot of time in one position during the day such as at a computer, on a sewing machine, or hunched over a desk, you may want to take a break and stretch and move positions every 30-45 minutes.
- Avoid clenching your teeth. This puts stress on your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your jaw to your head. I see a number of patients in my office whose headaches are coming from problems with their TMJ. If you clench or grind your teeth at night you may want to seriously consider getting a mouth guard.
- Make sure you stay well hydrated. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Conversely, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages which can dehydrate you. Certain alcoholic drinks such as wine are also known to be triggers of migraines.
- Avoid caffeine including chocolate, coffee, sodas, and non-herbal teas. Caffeine can dehydrate you, and it is also a stimulant which can cause headaches. Caffeine withdrawal is also a contributor to headaches so save yourself some agony and just avoid it all together.
- Avoid foods with high salt or sugar content because they can also trigger headaches.
- High protein foods, processed meats, dairy products, and some nuts are also known to trigger headaches.
As I covered in my previous blog post, chiropractic care has been proven to be effective in treating headaches. If you do decide to try out chiropractic to see what it can do for your headaches, typically what chiropractors do to treat headaches is perform spinal manipulation (you can check out a previous blog post if you want to learn more about that). Spinal manipulations or adjustments are designed to improve the function of your spine and alleviate stress to your neuromuscular system. Chiropractors also provide nutritional advice and may recommend a change in your diet or perhaps the addition of vitamins such as a B complex. Finally, chiropractors can offer advice on posture, ergonomics, and exercises that might help alleviate stress to your neck and upper back.
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about other ways to improve your lifestyle. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to examine and treat the entire body with specific emphasis on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. They can also help people lead healthier lives by focusing on wellness and prevention.