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
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