Treatment Options for Chronic Headaches
Headaches are among the most common medical issues that adults face today. Around the world, in fact, headaches are a consistent and chronic problem. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 50 percent of adults in the world deal with headache disorders, and migraines plague about 30 percent of the population.
Whether or not you have a headache disorder, however, most Americans are still affected by even slight headaches – those that make the forehead tense or the temple throb. Even “low-key” headaches can make it difficult to accomplish your work or enjoy spending time with your family and friends.
Below, we’ll outline the primary _types _of headaches so that you can figure out what type(s) you may be experiencing. We’ll also discuss treatments you can try at home to improve your headaches — and those that a professional chiropractor can provide when a more serious intervention is needed.
Types of Headaches
These are the only types of headaches that are caused by an external factor: excessive and chronic use of medications. These types of headaches are the worst when you wake up.
Cluster headaches are not very common and affect only ~1 in 1000 individuals. They are characterized by a severe and focused pain, generally in the eye area. Redness of the eye, nose running, and tearing may co-occur.
Tension headaches are by far the most common types of headaches. They typically occur on less than 15 days each month, and they are often associated with musculoskeletal problems or stress-related issues. They usually last for just a few hours, but sometimes, they can persist for days.
These headaches are characterized by an extreme, one-sided, pulsating headache that can last for just a few hours or up to a few days. These headaches often occur alongside nausea and vomiting.
Treatment Options for Debilitating Headaches
To start, you may want to try a few things at home to help ease chronic headaches. The use of at-home techniques, potentially coupled with professional assistance, may be able to dramatically decrease the effects of headache prevalence.
Here are several at-home care tips that may improve the rate at which you experience headaches:
Try Stretching Breaks
If you work at a job where you tend to hold the same position all day, this could be a contributing factor to your chronic headaches. Examples of troublesome head, neck, and back positions include sitting at a desk, working at a computer, driving a bus, or sewing at the sewing machine.
To improve your circumstances, try stretching breaks. Every 30 minutes to an hour, take a 3 to 5 minute break and stretch your neck, back, and arms. Keep in mind that moderate weekly exercise (cardio and strength training) can also contribute to lessening your headaches.
Stop Clenching Your Teeth
A common reaction to everyday stressors is clenching your teeth. In fact, your top teeth should never even touch your bottom teeth except when you swallow. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been clenching your teeth in the day or at night (bruxism), it’s important to remind yourself to leave your jaw slack. You might even try a night guard.
Drink More Water
Often the headaches people experience are caused by dehydration. So in order to get your adequate intake of daily liquid, try to drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water. Remember that alcohol and caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda don’t count.
When at-home treatments don’t quite do the trick, it may be time to seek professional help for your headaches. With a typical type of headache, it’s common to become worried that something internal could be triggering the pain. However, more often than not, the issues are musculoskeletal - and this means that a chiropractor is the specialist to help.
Your doctor of chiropractic can perform a spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustment in order to improve the way that your spine functions, thereby alleviating stress that may be causing headaches. They may also give you exercises, relaxation techniques, and posture tips to help improve the way you position and move your spine, neck, and shoulders. Finally, a chiropractor can offer key nutritional advice that will improve your health overall and often alleviate head pain internally. For many, the simple addition of key minerals and vitamins (like a B complex) can create significant improvement.
Are constant headaches holding you back from doing the things you love? No one deserves to have experience this sort of chroic pain, and The Spine & Sports Health Center would like to help.
We have numerous board-certified physicians and chiropractors available to help you with your headaches. These specialists were trained at the top institutions in New York City and New Jersey. Once you meet with one of our specialists for a thorough diagnosis, they will be able to create a unique and personalized treatment plan for relief from your headaches.
You shouldn’t have to live with constant pain and discomfort. To learn more about the treatment options we offer and to meet with one of our specialists for an initial consultation, contact us by phone at (201) 535-2474 or fill out this contact form and someone from our office will be in contact with you shortly.