Almost everyone has a headache once in a while. This is usually a standalone issue that can last for anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. It can be caused by a number of things, including spine and joint problems, stress, too much alcohol, other illnesses such as colds and flu, and dehydration.
If you have recurring headaches on a regular basis, it’s important to have yourself checked out by your GP.
Here, at The Spine & Joint Centre, we take a closer look at what causes headaches and whether your local Ealing chiropractor can help.
What Causes a Headache?
A headache can occur in any area of the head. You might feel pain at your temples, for example, at the back of the skull or around the forehead. Medical professionals generally distinguish between primary and secondary headaches.
Primary headaches are ones that are standalone and caused by chemical activity in the brain, constricting of blood vessels or problems with the neck and nerves in the head. A secondary headache usually has another cause – you’ve had too much to drink or you’re dehydrated. You might also have an illness or injury that causes headaches including concussion or a brain tumour.
The vast majority of headaches come and go naturally and can be helped by taking pain medication such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.
Headache vs Migraine: What’s the Difference?
A migraine is essentially a more severe kind of headache and can come with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and even visual disturbances. Migraines tend to affect women (1 in 5) more than men (1 in 15).
There is no exact known cause when it comes to migraines but they tend to be brought on by things like stress and dietary choices.
Things You Can Do When You Have a Headache
There are a few things you can do immediately if you are suffering from a headache:
- Ibuprofen and paracetamol can help ease the symptoms in the short term.
- You should drink water and stay hydrated.
- If the headache is part of another illness such as a cold or flu, get plenty of rest.
- Do something to relax and reduce any stress you may be under.
- Undertake some gentle exercise such as going for a walk.
You shouldn’t avoid eating and having your normal meals, make sure you don’t drink alcohol and reduce any strain on your eyes (for example, from watching too much TV).
How Your Ealing Chiropractor Can Help
Most of us have a headache once in a while and get over it pretty quickly. If you have regular headaches, however, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked out.
It can be tempting to simply pop a few painkillers each time you have a headache but this doesn’t generally help solve the problem. For example, your headaches might be down to stress tension and all the ibuprofen is doing is masking the symptoms. Stress, of course, is quite common in big city areas where people often have high powered, difficult jobs and work long hours.
You may have an underlying joint problem and an issue with your neck area that is causing the headaches. Chiropractic manipulation may help with both stress and mechanical issues to improve symptoms.
At the Spine and Joint Centre, we take a holistic approach to issues such as recurring headaches and migraines. That means looking at your posture and your lifestyle, including what you eat and drink. Sometimes, small changes can make a huge difference to your personal health.
When you visit our Ealing chiropractic clinic, the first thing we do is to assess your condition and come to a decision whether chiropractic manipulation is appropriate. It may be the case that we will refer you to your GP or someone like a neurologist if we feel this is the best course of action.
If you have been suffering from headaches on a regular basis, book an appointment at with your local Ealing chiropractor at The Spine & Joint Centre today.