Could Your Headache Be a Migraine? Types of Headaches and Tips for Relief
Raise your hand if you've ever had a headache?
Everyone, right? Headaches are a common symptom that most adults experience, but just because they are common doesn't make them any less annoying and distracting; especially because they always seem to come at the worst time. Here are some quick tips for relief from headaches.
4 Quick Tips to Get Rid of Headaches
1. Figure Out What Type of Headache You Have
There are many different types of headaches. If you know what you are dealing with, you can know how to fix it!
Tension headaches -These are by far the most common type of headache. Often tension headaches occur because of posture issues or from holding stress in your shoulders and neck.
- Sinus headaches - Sinus headaches are often related to sinus issues such as sinus infections or allergies. These headaches cause deep pain in your nasal passages, forehead and bridge of your nose. You may also experience ear pain or fullness and a stuffy or runny nose.
- Cluster headaches - These are least common type of headache, but they are probably the most acute on the list. Cluster headaches cause such intense piercing and burning pain behind the eyes that many individuals with these headaches have to pace or fidget to manage the pain. They usually come in clusters. Often two or three over the course of a day and several over the course of a few weeks; but then none at all for months or even years.
When you know the type of headache you are experiencing, you can narrow down your treatment options. If you have a sinus headache, you may want to address the underlying causes of your pain. If you are experiencing a tension headache, try reducing your stress and improving your posture.
2. Take a Break
Not all headaches are caused by stress, but most headaches are improved by reducing stress. When you feel a headache coming on, take a break. Drink some water and re-hydrate. Some headaches are exacerbated by, or even caused by, dehydration. You may benefit from guided breathing techniques or progressive muscle relaxation to reduce your stress. If you have the time, close your eyes for a few minutes and take a brief nap. These efforts certainly can't hurt you!
3. Try Stretching and Acupressure
Whether your headache is posture related or not, you may find relief from stretching your neck and upper back. Click here to view our guided video stretches for your neck.
You can also try acupressure which is just pressing firmly on various points in the body that are known to help reduce headache pain.
4. Use Hot/Cold Therapy
Many find almost instant relief from hot and cold therapy; but you have to know which to use and where so that you don't make your pain even worse. Heat causes an increase in blood flow, so it is great for relaxing tight muscles. For tension headaches, apply heat to the neck and base of your skull. Some individuals find that hot showers are relaxing and give the same overall effect. For migraines, many find relief from cold packs over their eyes and forehead, or even neck and shoulders. The belief here is that cold packs cool the blood and provide relief to aggravated nerves.
There are no hard and fast rules to using hot and cold therapy for headaches. If what you choose doesn't feel like it is helping, try the opposite. You may notice that what works for one headache won't work for the next.
Long-Term Headache Relief
In the long-term, your best bet is to get a chiropractic adjustment for headaches. Subluxations or joints that are out of place can lead to a reduction in the available space for your nerve pathways. If you think of nerve pathways as the electrical system of the body, subluxations are basically like "shorts" in the body's wiring. Correcting these issues can often greatly reduce the pain of headaches and even eliminate them altogether. If you are suffering from frequent headaches, Sioux Falls Chiropractic can help! We love getting patients back to living a full and healthy lifestyle.