Looking into the causes of headaches
Everyone has a headache now and then, some people more than others. If you are finding that you are having more and more headaches, or if you believe that you suffer a disproportionate number of headaches, it may be time to look into what you may be doing to exacerbate the problem.
If you rush to take medicine everytime you have a headache, without examining the root causes, you may be only temporarily fixing the problem
A large number of research studies over the past 20 years indicate that between 40 and 50 percent of headaches originate somewhere in the upper back or neck. This obviously is not in the head, and is why chiropractors and other manual therapists have a steady stream of patients who consult for this common problem.
Obviously there are many more causes. The good news is that most of these other causes are lifestyle dependent. Meaning that our choices in either what we eat or what we do are able to offer us help.
We are bombarded with the pharmaceutical industry's drugs for headache symptoms, and as you may know, this is big business for them, to the tune of billions of dollars. This is great for them, but not so good for the individual headache sufferer.
With this in mind, let us consider a different approach to dealing with a headache as a symptom, based on the evidence.
Eye strain can cause headaches. Studies have found that people who spend more than 11 hours per week in front of a computer were 50 percent more likely to suffer from weekly headaches. Solution; try to limit computer time and/or get more active.
Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine and beer are implicated with some headache sufferers who are sensitive to histamines. Cheese, chocolate, refined carbohydrates, Chinese food, coffee and food additives; such as nitrates and aspartame are implicated for others. People with specific food allergies often get a headache with ingestion of the offending food.
Other telltale signs are either a postural mal-alignment; such as, forward head posture, or restricted joint mobility in the cervical vertebrae. These are usually easily corrected through spinal adjustments and corrective postural retraining exercises. Once corrected, many people find that what they originally thought was the problem (such as eye strain), was not the problem after all.
This may surprise some, but many researchers are now warning that one common cause of a headache is called MOH - medication overuse headache. This simply means that a person’s headache is caused from consuming too much medication designed to give relief.
Many medications that are commonly prescribed for functional health problems such as high cholesterol, hormone replacement therapy and depression, list headaches as common side effects.
No amounts of dietary supplements or other drugs can substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Try to get seven hours sleep nightly. Sleep deprivation and snoring are linked with headaches.
Regular exercise is often associated with a decrease in the frequency and severity of headaches. Ask anyone who is regular with cardiovascular exercise and they will tell you that one primary benefit is feeling healthy and energetic; with few headaches, among other positive health benefits.
Runners and others who are very active know that regular participation demands that you take care with your lifestyle choices. You must drink enough water, avoid junk food, eat nutritionally (snack regularly), and not pollute your body with common contaminants such as cigarette smoke, household chemicals, cleaning supplies and garden pesticides.
There is no such thing as having a normal number of headaches. They are all a warning that something is not right. Try the lifestyle approach, taking things one step at a time, and see what changes. Consulting with a more holistic health care practitioner should help figure out what other potential causes might be lurking around.