Headaches – they can be a major pain in the neck!! (pun intended!)
With our busy lives and hectic schedules, when a headache comes on, it can be very easy to try to put it on the back burner. Who has time for a headache?? We sometimes try to ignore them or temporarily treat the symptoms with painkillers like aspirin. But it is important to know that a headache is your body’s way of telling you something is off. Headaches are often triggered by any of the following issues: fatigue, allergies, stress, poor posture, low blood sugar, hormones, and nutritional deficiencies.
Your body is trying to send you a message, or a warning signal in the form of a headache. So we’ve come up with a short and simple list of 5 natural headache remedies to help get you back to your day in peace!
Common Types of Headaches
According to Harvard Health, tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They are not caused by disease – and are considered to be the “normal” headache that affects most of Americans today. While tension headaches are not considered to be debilitating, they can cause mild to moderate pain as they come and go over time.
Cluster headaches are considered to be the most painful, but also the least common. Harvard Health actually notes that this type of headache affects men much more frequently than women. They begin with an intense burning or piercing pain behind the eyes, and can spread throughout other areas of the face.
These are the bad guys in the headache world! We discuss migraine headaches with our patients so much; we even have a whole blog entry dedicated to them! Migraine headaches can last a few hours and up to a few days. Our patients with migraines often experience sensitivity to light, nausea or vomiting, noise sensitivity, loss of appetite, and belly pain.
Chesapeake’s 5 Natural Headache Remedies
According to Beyond Celiac, headaches are amongst the most common pain complaints of people living with undiagnosed celiac disease. Like we mentioned before, headaches are often warning signals of something being off balance with your body. When people with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity consume food containing gluten, it can lead to a severe headache.
If you notice headaches or other pain after you eat something that is made with gluten (wheat, rye, barley products), you should consult your primary care physician! There is often a strong correlation between the food we eat and the headaches we suffer. We recommend completely eliminating gluten for three weeks. On week four, slowly reintroduce wheat products, and pay attention to the way your body feels. If the headaches come back, you may want to consider abiding by a totally gluten-free diet.
There is a huge correlation between water deprivation and headaches. According to a study done at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery indicated that headaches, impaired concentration, and irritability are all common symptoms of dehydration.
Most Americans are not getting in enough water each day. Part of this is due to the fact that there is no crisp number for the recommended daily water intake. While Mayo Clinic recommends men consume 11 8oz. glasses of water, and women 9 8oz. glasses – your activity level and nutrition may require you to drink more. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that you should consume an extra 12oz of water for every 30 minutes of exercise.
Eating foods like watermelon, cucumber, and celery can help add to your daily water consumption. However, consuming salty foods can do the exact opposite. Pay attention to your water intake and your pain pattern. Sometimes, simply drinking more water can relieve your headache!
At Chesapeake Family Wellness, we support all of our clients on their path to a healthy and active lifestyle. Multiple times we have discussed the issues with a sedentary lifestyle. If you’re sitting at your desk all day or avoiding your exercise program, you may be setting yourself up for headaches you’ve been experiencing! Sitting at your desk all day, with or without poor posture, leads to tension build up all over your body, and inevitably a tension headache.
An easy and natural way to combat tension headaches is to get up, move around, and stretch throughout your workday. Getting your muscles moving will improve your circulation and reduce your odds of suffering another tension headache.
For some inspiration, take a look at some of our favorite Muscle of the Month stretches:
A common question we get asked: does a cold or warm compress work better to relieve headaches? Our answer: both!! Generally, we recommend a warm compress for tension headaches and a cold compress for migraine headaches. But it will all be up to personal preference. A compress is a very natural way to help relieve a headache, but unfortunately, they only help once you have a pain – they do not help prevent headaches.
We are constantly asked what the correlation of chiropractic care and headache relief is! Our patients have noticed that by coming in for regular chiropractic treatment, their headaches have become manageable or have disappeared altogether! This is because of our favorite chiropractic move: spinal manipulation!
According to the American Chiropractic Association, spinal manipulation – one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. Studies suggest that chiropractic manipulation alleviates stress throughout joints, and can, therefore, reduce both tension and migraine headaches!
Our Final Thoughts
- Headaches are a warning signal that something in your body isn’t right
- Headaches are often triggered by any of the following issues: fatigue, allergies, stress, poor posture, low blood sugar, hormones, and nutritional deficiencies
- There are 3 common types of headaches: tension, cluster, and migraine
- Our 5 natural headache remedies are: a gluten-free diet, monitor your daily water intake, keep your body moving, use a compress, and consider chiropractic care!
If you are looking for chiropractic care for headaches in the Columbia, Maryland area, we can help! Consider Chesapeake Family Wellness Center! Get you back on the road to a pain-free life – call (410) 381-7246 to schedule your free consultation today!