A headache is localized or radiating pain in one or more regions of your head. The frequency may be occasional and of short-duration, or chronic, which may require medical attention.
Some of the common causes of a headache include:
- Tension or stress
- Certain medications
- Sinus cavity inflammation
- Head injury
- Specific types of exercise
- Hormonal imbalance
- Various diseases
- Certain medical procedures such as a spinal tap
- Excess caffeine
- Sleep disturbances
- Eye defects
- Unknown genetic factors
Symptoms of a Headache
The symptoms vary as do the triggers that cause your headache. Symptoms may include:
Localized or radiating pain at one or both sides of the head
- “Heaviness" of the head
- Teary and red eyes
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea and vomiting
Management of Headache
Some important headache management methods include one or more of the following:
Avoiding the Triggers
It is important to know what triggers the pain so you can prevent it from occurring. Maintain a record of the following factors when you get a headache for better management:
- The specific start time of the headache
- The trigger(s) experienced
- If it occurs during menses in women
- If it directly follows another symptom
Your doctor can prescribe certain medications to relieve your headache. These medications can be combined with other treatment options such as:
- Proper sleep
- Massage therapy
- Use of cold or hot compresses
Chiropractic care is a complementary approach to managing headaches, including tension-type headaches and some types of migraines. It focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal issues that can contribute to headaches. Your chiropractor may employ the following methods to treat and prevent headaches:
- Spinal Adjustments: These include manual manipulation techniques to realign the spine, particularly the neck and upper back. This can reduce tension and alleviate headaches, especially those related to musculoskeletal problems or poor posture.
- Soft Tissue Therapies: Chiropractors may use soft tissue techniques such as massage or myofascial release to address muscle tension and trigger points in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, which can trigger or exacerbate headaches.
- Posture and Ergonomics: Chiropractors provide guidance on proper posture and ergonomics, which can help prevent headaches caused by muscle strain or poor workplace habits.
- Lifestyle Advice: Chiropractors often offer lifestyle recommendations, including advice on nutrition, exercise, and stress management, as these factors can influence headache frequency and intensity.