At some point or another, just about everyone deals with headaches. They can stem from a variety of causes such as drug reactions, tightness in the neck muscles, low blood sugar, high blood pressure, stress, and fatigue. Take a moment to think about how you currently manage headaches. Maybe you take some pain medication and hope that it goes away. It could be that you need to lie down for some time until the symptoms lessen. Regardless, there’s no question that headaches are anything but fun to deal with. 

Let’s begin by looking at the three primary types of headaches:

Tension Headaches

About 75 percent of folks who suffer from headaches experience this particular type. Tension headaches tend to bring on a constant dull, achy feeling either on one side or both sides of the head. Those who commonly have them describe tension headaches as a feeling of a tight band or dull ache around the head or behind the eye. Also called stress headaches, they often begin slowly and may last anywhere from several minutes to several days. Keep in mind that while the pain can be severe, these headaches don’t come with other symptoms such as nausea, throbbing, or vomiting.

Cluster Headaches

About one million people in the U.S. experience these very short, yet excruciating headaches. Interestingly, cluster headaches are the one type of headache that occurs at night. Note that these typically occur one to four times per day over a period of several days. So you may have a cluster headache one day and then never have another for years. Experts believe that cluster headaches may be related to a dilation of blood vessels in the brain, causing a localized increase in pressure.

Migraine Headaches

Nearly 25 million people in the U.S. deal with migraines, 75 percent of which are women. These intense, throbbing headaches are often associated with nausea and sensitivity to light or noise. What causes migraines you might ask? They result from a constriction of blood vessels in the brain, followed by a dilation of blood vessels. In a sort of domino effect, blood pressure rapidly increases inside the head. That additional pressure leads to the pounding headache that so many folks know all too well.

Headache Triggers to Avoid

If you have headaches on a regular basis, here are some lifestyle changes to consider:

  • Keep a journal to determine which factors (food, change in weather, mood, etc.) have any correlation to the headaches.
  • Steer clear of foods containing sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate. These include processed meats, soy sauce, and some packaged foods.
  • Manage stress as much as possible. Depression, anxiety, and frustration can trigger headaches on occasion.

Consult a Chiropractor

Don’t let headaches continue to affect your life. At Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, our chiropractors will get to the root of the issue. With tension headaches, we may look at the manipulation of the upper two cervical vertebrae along with adjustments to the junction between the cervical and thoracic spine. Rest assured that our clinic will provide a safe, long-lasting solution for your headaches.