Migraine Headaches, Why They Happen and What You Can Do About Them
A headache is something that almost everyone suffers from at some point in their life; some have them more often than others. Your symptoms can range from a dull ache behind your eyes, a stiffness in your neck and a throbbing in your temples, to an inability to get out of bed, see, and smell normally due to extreme pain.
The Statistics are Staggering
A lot of people suffer from an occasional headache, but a surprisingly high number of people also suffer from chronic migraines; 37 million people, actually! Migraines can bring on more than just extreme pain; nausea, vomiting, hypersensitivity to light and sound, irritability, congestion, and an overall inability to do anything are all associated with migraine headaches.
So why do people get migraines? Scientists haven’t pinpointed the exact cause of a migraine yet, but there are multiple factors that we know affect headache patterns.
Your genes are a major factor in whether or not you suffer from migraine headaches. If close family members have suffered from migraines in the past, you’re more likely to have them than someone who doesn’t have a family history of migraines. Keep in mind, anyone can suffer from a migraine, regardless of age, sex, or race.
Did you know that females are three times more likely to suffer from a headache or migraine than males? But it isn’t just adults who are affected. Children can develop headaches just like adult; but migraines typically start developing in the teen years, with a peak at age 30. As someone gets older, headaches typically become more infrequent, and less severe.
How to Relieve Your Migraine
If you want to relieve the symptoms of a migraine specifically, there are a few different things you can do. First, you need to determine if you really do have a migraine. You can check out the infographic and article here to learn more about what kind of headache you may have.
Find Your Zen
Stress is also a huge culprit lurking behind your pain - an estimated 60-70% of headaches are caused from tension in your body (and mind). To practice preventative care, take a few minutes every day for focused relaxation. Find a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes if you can, and pay attention to how fast your heart is beating. Try and focus on your breathing until your heartbeat begins to slow to a normal pace. Once your breathing and heart rate is in check. Rub your neck muscles for a minute or two. Basically, find your mental happy place and try to go there when you feel stress creeping in.
Track Your Patterns
If you’re suffering from any type of headache, but especially migraines, it’s important to analyze your day-to-day activity. If your migraines have increased in frequency and pain level, have your sleep patterns changed? Did you try a new diet, start a new medication? It could be something as simple as the barometric pressure and weather changing or trying a new food at a restaurant. Do you have poor posture? Your body is sensitive to many different factors, especially if you suffer from migraines chronically, and it’s important to recognize what brings on a migraine before the pain starts.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
One of the best ways to get rid of migraines is to practice preventative care. Instead of spending your money on expensive migraine medications, emergency room visits, shots, and missed time at work, try and figure out what is causing your migraines. If it’s muscle tension, talk to your chiropractor about how adjustments can help relieve your pain.
Practicing preventative care will protect your body, mind, and wallet in the long run. A treatment plan is going to be your biggest ally in getting rid of headaches or dramatically decreasing their frequency.
Chiropractors can utilize stretching techniques, adjustments, acupuncture, or deep tissue techniques. These treatments help realign your neck and upper vertebrae muscles, break up the scar tissue that builds up due to poor posture or old injuries, and overall give your body the kick start it needs to kick the headaches.
Overall, headaches can be an inconvenient, painful and expensive problem to have. Practicing preventative care can save your sanity and your wallet in the long run, so talk to your chiropractor about how we can help you build a strategy to relieve your headache pain today!