One of my favorite teaching moments is when a practice member comes in with no health complaints or concerns. While we love delivering chiropractic in a preventative manner, I like to always bluntly ask the patient if they are having any aches, pains, or dysfunction just to make sure. More times than not they will say something along the lines of “I get a headache about once a week but that’s normal.” Many of you may be guilty of saying something similar. This statement reveals a gigantic problem in how many of us view our health.
We know that experiencing a headache once per week is COMMON, but it is definitely not normal. The body was designed and created to express health. Too many people get used to experiencing these aches and pains so frequently, and likely have friends and family in the same boat, that they begin to confuse the difference between common and normal. In today’s world we can quickly take an aspirin and get on with our lives.
Let me pose a question. Is that headache due to an aspirin deficiency? Of course not! It wouldn’t be a big deal if aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug’s (NSAID) didn’t come with side effects such as stomach pain, stomach ulcers, ringing in the ears, high blood pressure, leg swelling, liver/kidney dysfunction and even HEADACHES. Yes, you read that correctly. Headaches can be caused by the use of these common medications.
Rather than MASKING the symptoms, correcting the CAUSE is the most effective long-term way to reducing headaches and migraines. Here are the most effective strategies in correcting the cause of most headaches:
Reduce stress: stress puts the body in a fight or flight mode which causes hormonal changes and our sensitivity to pain. This leads to many headaches throughout the workday or during big life decisions/changes. Finding a stress reducing hobby or activity is beneficial in combatting this cause of headaches.
Less screen time: research has shown that the more time we spend on electronic devices the more strain on the eyes which can lead to headaches. Limiting the amount of screen time and taking appropriate breaks are key in reducing this type of headache.
Nutritional changes: a good portion of headaches are due to dehydration and/or the consumption of pro-inflammatory foods. Avoiding sugars and caffeine and drinking plenty of water are all great steps in reducing these types of headaches.
Posture: abnormal posture, usually due to looking down or sitting for extended periods of time, have been shown to put abnormal stress on spinal muscles and nerves that can lead to these types of headaches. A researcher by the name of Dr. Nikoli Bogduk found that ALL headaches have something in common. He found that every headache patient had abnormal nerve function in the neck. A neurologically-based chiropractor can identify these areas and correct them using specific and gentle adjustments.
If you or a loved one are tired of thinking your headaches are normal then give us a call for a complimentary consultation and nerve assessment to see if you’d be a good fit for our office.