What is a headache? What causes it, and how can I treat it?
Generally, headaches begin as a dull ache that comes and goes every now and then but usually turn into a long term problem that comes very frequently if they go untreated. The pain can be accompanied by a combination of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. The cause of headaches, believe it or not, are not because there is a lack of Advil in your body. Ha! Your cervical spine (neck) is the one place in the human body where you have arteries that actually pass through bone. When people lose proper postural curves, then not only do the nerves get pinched but the blood supply going to the brain actually gets compromised. Mainstream treatment for headaches often includes over-the-counter or prescription medications, as well as self-help techniques. These will help diminish the symptoms but often the headaches return within a few hours or a few days. My personal experience is these are just short term solutions to a long term problem. You have to treat the cause of the headache and not just the symptom.
What can be a trigger?
Certain physical or environmental factors, such as foods, hormonal changes, weather, and stress, can lead to or “trigger” a headache. However, it’s important to remember that if its not something that you were born with, there has to be a reason as to what changed to make the headaches occur. That’s why its so important to look at structure and proper spinal alignment.
How can weather affect headaches?
Bright sunshine, hot, humid conditions, and drastic changes in barometric pressure may lead to, or “trigger,” a headache in some people. However, studies have shown that when temperatures increase, so does a person’s blood pressure. When the blood pressure rises, there is more demand for oxygen and if that blood can’t get to the brain then people will experience more symptoms.
What is the link between headaches and hormones?
Hormones initiate and regulate many of your body’s functions, keeping your body in balance within a constantly changing environment. When the levels of hormones in your body are unbalanced – during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause – it can lead to a headache. If a person has a history of trauma or spinal misalignments to their cervical spine, this can be a key factor as to why someone would have symptoms related to hormone imbalances. These are the nerves that help regulate and control hormone production and regulation.
Is there an increased risk of stroke for headache sufferers?
While the severity of a headaches often causes patients to fear they are having a stroke, the likelihood of a headache causing a stroke is very remote. Over the course of a person’s normal life span, the occurrence of headaches may actually be associated with a reduced risk of dying from cerebrovascular disease due to stroke.
Are headaches hereditary?
According to estimates, approximately 29.5 million people in the United States suffer from headaches. Four out of five (80 percent) of them report a family history of headaches, but scientists are not sure if this is genetic or a family predisposition.
Are over-the-counter medications for headaches effective?
Over-the-counter, or “OTC,” medications may be effective in relieving mild to moderate pain and associated symptoms of headaches short term. This is simply because they are vasodilators and increase the vascular supply getting to the human brain. However, you should see your chiropractor before beginning any consistent treatment regimen of medication to rule out any structural issues. Its important to treat the cause and not just the symptom.
What alternative therapies are used to treat headaches?
The term “alternative therapies” is often used to describe treatments considered outside the scope of conventional Western medicine. Examples of alternative therapy include acupuncture, acupressure and yoga, but the most common form is Chiropractic care. Chiropractic seeks out the root cause of the problem and realigns the structure so that there is normal blood flow getting to the brain.
What type of doctor should I see to diagnose and treat my headache?
When seeking treatment for your headache, start with the end in mind. Look to the cause of the headache and not just the symptom. This will often lead you to a doctor who deals with proper spinal alignment and structure, your local Chiropractor. Discuss his or her experience and approach to headaches, including methods of diagnosis and treatment. Your chiropractor may decide to recommend specific corrective care, depending upon your symptoms upon a proper spinal examination and spinal x-rays.
Please join us on July 18th at 6:30pm for our next Dinner with the Doc where we will be digging into the issues that cause Headaches and much more. Go to: www.myanthemhealth.com/events to register.
Your in Better Health....the Natural Way!
Dr Brian Hester
Back to Health of Anthem
Nobody decides today is the day I want to start using a walker or a wheelchair. Did you pass the mobility screening in this weeks episode on Mobility from Back to Health of Anthem? If you haven’t done the first part of the mobility screening, watch this first.
In my 18 years of being a Chiropractor, I’ve learned one thing for sure, Posture and Mobility are cousins. People don’t realize how important their mobility is until they have lost it. There is a saying by an English physiologist Charles Sherrington, “Posture follows movement like a shadow” and it most certainly does. The one thing we need to be able to enjoy life, especially as we age, is the ability to move well. We simply can’t and won’t move well if we don’t have good posture. Take a look around and see for yourself. The people that move the best in older age have decent posture and the people that don’t or can’t move well have poor posture. Which came first, their poor posture or their inability to move well? Let me answer that one for you, they occurred at the same time.
Why is good posture important?
Posture was once something that was important. It was taught as a fundamental principle of health by our teachers and parents. Some of us remember having to walk with books on our heads to demonstrate that we had good, upright posture. Good posture is simply good alignment of the spine. It also hinges on good core strength and core mobility. Mobility is the ability to move through “loaded” ranges of motion. In other words, to move through full ranges of motion carrying weight, like the weight of our body for example. Being able to fully squat down and lift something heavy off the ground, like a bag of potting soil for example. That requires good mobility and good mobility requires good posture. We have 53 joints in our spine and those joints all need to be aligned in perfect position for the spine to be able to move well. Posture hinges on alignment. When your spine is in proper alignment, you have the best chance for good posture and good mobility. This is an active process, not a passive one. It takes work to have great posture, alignment and mobility. However, the pay-off is freedom because when you can move well, you are free to move about the country.
3 Tips for Better Posture and Mobility:
1) Be aware of your posture: You simply can’t change something you’re not aware of so remind yourself and use posture apps on your smartphones. Imagine that someone was pulling you up by a string through the top of your head like a puppet. That’s what you want to think of.
2) Strengthen your core: If you core isn’t strong, you won’t have good posture. What holds our spine in its normal position? Correct, muscles. There are hundreds of muscles that attach to the spine and if they are weak from disuse, you won’t have the strength to hold you upright against gravity. Good posture depends on good core strength. What are you doing to strengthen your core?
3) Sit up straight and take sitting breaks: So many of us sit for long periods of time. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your spine upright. Try to keep your butt as far back in the chair as possible. Lastly, take a break and do “wall angels” or a “bruggers postural reset” (look it up or ask the doctor).
Most people take people health for granted and certainly we take our posture for granted. Whether you care about esthetics, proper aging or better mobility, they are few things that you can do that will pay bigger dividends than work on improving your posture.
If you failed any one of the 4 mobility exercises, please join us for our next Dinner with the Doc, where we treat you to dinner and discuss key Health principals that allow you to stay mobile. We will be digging into the issues of posture, mobility and much more.
Go to: www.myanthemhealth.com/events to register.
Before we end this article, sit up straight and/or stand up tall!
Yours in better health….The natural way!
Dr Brian Hester
Did you know that sugar is highly addictive – no different than Cocaine, Heroin or Alcohol? This is why sugar is so hard to give up and so hard to put down. Once you get a taste you want more. Like any highly addictive substance, the first step to gaining control over it is admitting you have a problem. If your relationship with sugar is damaging your health or life in any way, shape or form – you need to stop eating it!
To help you gain more awareness as to how bad sugar is – here is a list:
If you are struggling to avoid added sugar in your diet, try these helpful tips:
Please join us on July 18th at 6:30pm for our next Dinner with the Doc where we will be digging into the issues of sugar and much more. Go to: www.myanthemhealth.com/events to register.
Your in Better Health....the Natural Way!
Dr Brian Hester
Back to Health of Anthem
CONTACT & LOCATION
41930 N Venture Dr #110
Anthem, AZ 85086