An estimated 80% of Americans experience occasional tension headaches and three percent experience them daily. Tension headaches are known to be caused by both muscle contractions in head, face, and scalp, as well as changes in neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain). It is believed that muscle contractions may be the trigger for changes in neurotransmitter changes.
5 Ways to Stop Tension Headaches
- Manage Stress
- Avoid pro-inflammatory foods
- Improve posture
- Exercise or move more
- Get chiropractic adjustments regularly
Manage Stress: the primary cause of tension headaches is physical and emotional stress. The trauma our body goes through on a daily basis and the effect our thoughts have on our body are where biology and psychology overlap. Taking time to recover from exceptionally hard days, aggressive workouts, or difficult people can help reduce the tension in your body. Keeping “margin” in your life for rest, play and unscheduled time can make a big difference in frequency and severity of tension headaches.
Avoid Pro-Inflammatory Foods: even conventional medicine has recommended avoiding caffeine and chocolate if you get headaches, but finding food triggers through food sensitivity tests or elimination diets can make a huge difference. Pro-inflammatory foods to consider avoiding are: gluten, dairy, processed sugar, and vegetable oils.
Improve Posture: Ergonomics has been a buzzword in the professional world over the years, but often, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Having a chair, desk and computer height that take the tension out of your shoulders, neck and back can dramatically improve headaches.
Exercise/Move More: Walking is one of the best exercises available. Exercise doesn’t have to be overly scheduled or include special equipment. Taking just 5-10 minute walks throughout the work day and a walk in the evening after dinner when weather is nice can reduce mental stress, stretch muscles, relax muscles and build core muscles which help support good posture.
Regular Chiropractic Adjustments: An aligned spine from a chiropractor is actually one of the most fundamental ways to reduce or resolve headaches, even occasional ones. The spine is the primary signaling organ of the body and needs the same care as our other organs.
Top Causes of Tension Headaches
Chiropractic Care for Headaches
One study compared chiropractic adjustments to the headache medication advil. The chiropractic group had fewer side effects than the medication group and the benefits lasted longer, up to one month. The medication group had to take medication daily. Another study showed 50% reduction in headache severity after only one chiropractic adjustment.
The chiropractors at the LifeWorks Integrative Health specialize in correcting the root cause of your headaches through physical medicine. Contact us today and let’s get you better!
HEADACHE SOLUTIONS YOU CAN COUNT ON
Are you still having migraines? Have you searched high and low for migraine solutions for years with no relief? Well, we can’t say we’ve got the migraine “magic bullet,” but at LifeWorks Integrative Health, we know migraines. We know there can be many different reasons you get migraines. We also know most of the time there is not only one solution for headaches.
Migraines cost employers an estimated $24 million annually based on a 2006 study. That number is likely higher now. Headaches are so common that many people think it is normal to live to with pain. Pain is never “normal,” even if it is common. Lingering conditions like migraines can lead to complications on other areas of the body, so getting the solutions to your headaches goes beyond just being pain free. It is part of keeping the rest of your body in order.
In 2005-2006, migraines were responsible for 1,729,555 physician office visits and 22,168 hospital days. We think that’s way too many. Too many for the people who are in pain, and too many for the financial burden that headaches are having on our health care system.
At LifeWorks Integrative Health in Shawnee and Overland Park, our expert staff looks at each person’s unique health needs through two lenses: Functional medicine and physical medicine. We generally find that both areas are at play with most health conditions, and it is no different for headaches. Let us explain…
Functional Medicine Considerations for Headaches:
Functional Medicine is the term used for “root cause” based health care. This way of health care asks “why” is the health issue occurring instead of asking “what” medication can cover up the symptoms. In the case of headaches, including migraines, they can be caused by a variety of factors like:
Our experienced, compassionate, skilled functional medicine practitioners use your health history, your current story, and relevant laboratory data to determine what imbalances in your internal body systems are the cause or contributing factors to your migraines. We then develop an integrated pain management solution that can help you.We love nothing more than seeing the relief our patience have when they are finally free from headaches interfering with daily life.
Physical Medicine Considerations for Headaches:
Underlying system imbalances are only part of the equation. Physical misalignments are often a big contributing factor for headaches. Most headaches are caused by a small misalignment (or subluxation) in the spine. When vertebrae are misaligned, nerves and muscles become irritated and inflamed which causes a variety of pain and discomfort issues. The physical medicine team will evaluate your situation and determine the best plan for you. Read more about our effective and innovative headache treatment here. Our unique approach goes above and beyond your standard chiropractic adjustment to get you relief fast that lasts.
Don’t be one of the thousands of migraine statistics. Solutions are available and we are ready to help!
Resources: Munakata, J., et al. (2009). Economic burden of transformed migraine: Results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study. Headache, 49(4), 498-508