Headaches are very common but can be very debilitating. The pain experienced with a headache is felt in the head region, stemming from tissues and structures around the brain including; muscles, ligaments, joints and bones.
There are many types of headaches, which include; tension, cervicogenic, cluster, sinus and migraine. Another form of headaches is those secondary to an illness. Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches. They affect women more than men and 1 in 20 people experience a tension headache daily. Secondary headaches can arise from a variety of conditions including; a tooth infection, sinusitis, meningitis. With these headaches it is important to identify the underlying cause to resolve the headache.
Ways to self treat headaches...
Water- Staying hydrated is very important. The body has so many requirements for water, yet most of us do not drink enough. On average we require 2 litres a day.
Addressing Stress- Stress is a quick way to develop a headache. Simple ways to relieve stress levels include a quick walk, fresh air can help clear your mind and give you a fresh start on an issue or situation. Also diaphragmatic breathing. Something I like to teach my patients, how to breathe using the abdomen and diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing also helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the 'rest and digest' function. It helps put your body into a calm state. Meditation can also help with reducing stress.
Diet- There some common foods and beverages that can cause headaches for some people. These include; aged cheese, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, tomatoes, onions and MSG. Whilist these do not affect everyone, if you frequently experience headaches, try removing one of these at a time.
Get your eyes checked- When was the last time you had your eyesight checked? If your eyes are straining to see properly, the eye muscles are being strained, which can cause headaches.
Having a good nights sleep- Pillow, mattress and lack of sleep, can all cause headaches. See my previous blog on sleep for ways of address sleep and getting a quality nights sleep.
Heat- Apply heat to the neck, this will help relax the neck muscles, which may be causing the headache.
Osteopathy & Headaches
Headaches are a common complaint to osteopaths. An osteopath will treat the muscles, ligaments and joints of the cranium, neck, back, jaw and shoulder. Advice is also given on ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches. This will include the above and anything else that relates to your situation.
Don't put up with headaches, book your appointment today to end your suffering!