From children to adults, the effect headaches and migraines can have on suffers is debilitating, with many having to cancel plans, work and school when an episode takes hold.
Having initially encountered chiropractic after receiving very successful treatment for long-standing headaches from the age of 15, our chiropractor, Amelia knows only too well the impact headaches and migraines can have on someone’s life and mental well-being.
In our latest blog, Amelia shares some of her top tips and insight into what causes headaches, how chiropractic treatment can help, and what suffers of headaches can do to try and avoid them.
- Why do people get headaches?
Headaches are a complex issue and triggers can vary from hormone levels and genetic predisposition to muscular tension and joint dysfunction. As chiropractors we most commonly see tension-type headaches and cervicogenic headaches as these may both be affected by postural factors, spinal alignment and tension within the neck, shoulder, and jaw musculature.
- How can a chiropractor help with headaches?
As chiropractors we assess the musculoskeletal system and nervous system and also consider lifestyle and postural factors. If the patient is suitable for chiropractic treatment, we will then suggest a specific course of care consisting of manual techniques, advice and a rehabilitation programme. The aim of our treatment is to restore joint movement, decrease muscular tension and reduce the likelihood of re-occurrence.
- What can people do in their everyday life to manage/avoid headaches?
To prevent and ease the symptoms of headaches consider the following few tips:
- Sleep position – We spend a third of our lives sleeping and so position is vital for spinal health. If you are waking up with stiffness in the neck and shoulder region then consider changing your pillows or trying to sleep on your back. If you choose to sleep on your side always ensure your spine is in a neutral position and if you are prone to twisting onto your front, try a pillow between your knees to prevent this.
- STAY HYDRATED! – Dehydration is a common cause of headache so ensure you are drinking plenty.
- Screen time – If you work in an office-based job take time to set up your workspace so that your screen is at eye level and your chair offers you suitable support – and don’t forget to take breaks – movement is key! In the evenings try to limit the amount of time you are looking down at a screen and sitting in one position.
- Consider manual therapy – Therapies to improve your range of motion and to reduce muscular tension may help to reduce your symptoms.
- Think about your jaw – For those who clench their jaw or grind their teeth at night, the muscles and joints of the jaw can become dysfunctional and often addressing this can help to reduce headache symptoms.