Headaches and Migraines can be quite debilitating and can seriously effect our quality of life. Depending on the cause, they can take anywhere from hours, to days, or even weeks to dissipate.
Did you know there are THREE main kinds of headaches that have different causes and symptoms; Migraine Headaches, Tension Headaches, and Sub-occipital Headaches.
In this 3 part series we want to look at some of the causes and solutions of these Headaches, and what to expect if ignored.
A Migraine Headache is one of the most debilitating headaches. It can become so intense that it causes nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to noise and light, and last for days on end. Often it feels like the only thing that helps to relieve the pain is rest and time. This kind of headache will usually cause tension in the neck, shoulders and mid-back. As these headaches can last up to a few days with varying degrees of intensity, it can often leave you confused and struggling to concentrate, unable to work or study. It can also effect your vision with what is called migraine ‘auras’, which are visual disturbances such as flashes of or zig zagging light, blurry vision or even blind spots, or difficulty focusing. Other symptoms can include tingling or pins and needles, digestive issues, lack of coordination, speech disturbances, and in some rare cases paralysis or loss of consciousness.
Migraines can occur with varying degrees of frequency, sometimes only once or twice a year, and in some extreme cases as often as multiple times a week. The frequency can often be associated with what is triggering the headache
Migraine Headaches are often caused by high toxicity levels in the body. It is often associated with dehydration and can be made worse by not consuming enough water or too much alcohol. Some medications and chemicals can also effect the toxicity levels in the body, leading to a migraine headache. Muscle tension on the mid back can create pressure in the mid thoracic area of the spine (in between the shoulder blades), which is associated with toxicity and the bodies chemistry, thereby contributing to these kinds of headaches.
While pain medications such as Panadol, or anti inflammatories like Neurofen may provide some relief, this is usually only a temporary measure.
These types of headaches usually respond well to plenty of hydration. As toxicity is usually the issue, increase in water consumption causes an increase in waste elimination (going to the toilet), effectively eliminating the built up of toxins in the body. Exercise may be the last thing on your mind, but sweating can also help to eliminate more toxins from the body.
Having your spine checked can often pinpoint a specific area of the thoracic spine that may need an adjustment. Correcting a vertebral misalignment in this area can help reduce the frequency, and lessen the length and severity of headaches such as these.
Chiropractic is designed to help keep your spine healthy and in the best position possible to avoid issues such as these from occurring,
Having a Remedial Massage can also relax the muscles causing pressure to the spine, however often in the midst of this kind of headache your muscles are very tender to the touch and can feel worse before feeling better. It is best to have you structure taken care of first, with massage used as a support to this treatment.
These types of Headaches generally continue to get slowly worse over a long period of time. The frequency can increase from one every 6 months to as often as one or more per week! The intensity doesn’t change much, as they are often massively intense anyway, but the duration can get worse from lasting only one day to lasting three or more. If the cause is left untreated, mid back pain and/or shoulder blade pain often presents later down the track, as muscle tension increases. These kinds of Headaches will defiantly interfere with your lifestyle and well being.
In Part 2 we will be looking at Tension Headaches.