On top of your day-to-day activities, the added pressure of preparing for the holidays can make your head pound. Get natural relief from that headache before the festivities begin.
What triggers a headache?
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli, (noises, light, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.).
About 5% of all headaches are warning signals caused by a serious physical problems. Whereas the other 95% of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by another disease. The headache itself is the primary concern. “The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck.” Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.
What Can You Do?
- If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
- Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in activities such as walking and low-impact aerobics.
- Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)-the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull-leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
- Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
- Avoid slouching.
- When at work, keep your computer monitor at eye level.
- Take frequent breaks from your activities.
- Research shows that spinal manipulation-the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic-may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.
Your doctor of chiropractic naturally alleviate stress, tension, and the aches and pains that often accompany them, and offer you advice on exercise and nutrition, so you can enjoy the holiday season as it was meant to be.