headacheHave you ever had a headache? I’m sure that’s a silly question as headaches are very common and affect just about everyone at some point in their life.

There are 3 types of headaches:

1. Tension headaches are the most common. They can last from 30 minutes to several days and consist of a constant dull, achy feeling. The most common cause is subluxations in the upper back and neck, which can be eliminated by visiting your local chiropractor.

2. Migraine headaches are less common, but more intense. They affect more women than men, and can be due to lack of sleep, stress, flickering lights, strong odors, changing weather patterns, foods high in tyramine, and a constriction of blood vessels in the brain.

3. Cluster headaches are the least common, but are found in more men than women. They tend to occur at night, and can occur 1-4x/day over a period of several days. The pain is excruciating and often felt on one side of the head behind the eyes due to a dilation of the blood vessels in the brain.

Will aspirin take your headache away?

A study indicated that headaches are the 11th most frequent reason for a visit to the doctor. World-wide, more than 13,000 tons of aspirin are consumed per year, with a major portion utilized for headache relief.

Now let me ask you this – how does that aspirin know to travel to your neck or upper back muscles or the blood vessels in your brain? It doesn’t! It travels in your blood stream throughout your whole body going to every cell, tissue, and organ, creating disastrous effects, and acting as a bandaid for the headache. Over consumption of aspirin can actually lead to rebound headaches, as well as kidney and liver problems.

Natural ways to keep headaches at bay:
Decrease your daily stress with activities such as meditation, yoga, breathwork, stretching, etc.
Mix 1 tbsp fish oil with 8 ounces of orange juice and drink
Massage peppermint oil onto your temples, back of your jaw, and forehead
Drink more water
Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with 3 cups boiling water, hold towel over head as you breathe in the steam
Avoid exposure to nitrite compounds found in products such as heart medicine, hot dogs and other processed meats
Avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in foods such as soy sauce, meat tenderizer, and a variety of packaged foods
Avoid exposure to poisons (such as insecticides, carbon tetrachloride, and toxic cleaning products)
Avoid lead (flakes of paint, lead batteries, lead-glazed pottery)
Avoid foods high in the amino acid tyramine (cheddar, brie, chocolate, pickled foods, and fermented foods)

And don’t forget, studies show that chiropractic adjustments result in almost immediate improvement for headaches and have significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief than commonly prescribed pain relievers. Even those who stop chiropractic care continue to experience sustained relief for up to four weeks after in contrast to those patients who rely on medication.