Headache & Migraine Awareness Month
Symptoms, Treatments, and More!
National Headache Awareness Week takes place every year in the first full week of June with the aim of spreading awareness regarding one of the most common ailments in the world. The National Headache Foundation (NHF) spreads information regarding headaches and migraines as well as other triggers or diseases that can cause them.
Headache: Signs & Symptoms
Migraines are a big problem for many people. These severe, nearly disabling headaches can occur anywhere from once a year to three to four times a week. They can last from hours to days. They are often associated with an aura, light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and severe throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. And migraines can be caused by many different factors. Many who suffer from the condition experience associated neck pain. Many of them also report muscle tension, neck stiffness, and problems with jaw function.
A CHiropractic approach
to treating headaches
A chiropractor’s expertise includes treating these symptoms and often relieves the underlying problems. To treat migraine headaches, chiropractors perform spinal adjustments or manipulation to reduce stress and improve spinal function. A detailed history of previous injuries is extremely important. Even “a bump to the head” or TMJ can be significant enough to throw things out of balance and contribute to headaches. A chiropractor’s aim when treating migraines is to reduce pain and maximize health.
Chiropractic may include other lifestyle recommendations that can help prevent migraine headaches. Examples include advice about teeth clenching, which can stress the jaw joint and trigger headaches (TMJ), and encouraging people to drink plenty of water each day to prevent dehydration. Since June is a warm month, people tend to get dehydrated fast. Dehydration often triggers headaches and migraines.
Functional Medicine Approach
to treating headaches
Instead of treating individual diseases, this holistic approach looks to heal the underlying dysfunctions present in the body that contribute to each condition. Functional Medicine looks to understand the root cause of diseases and conditions. From there, we help treat the cause in order to remove the symptoms as opposed to alleviating symptoms without addressing the underlying problem. Sometimes, the root cause of chronic and frequent headaches and migraines may not be in your head at all! Often, more than one underlying cause contributes to each headache. These underlying causes can be due to environmental stressors, genetic disposition, nutrient intake, hormone imbalances and gut health
- Increase and log your daily water intake. Don’t forget to add electrolytes!
- Keep track of your headaches! Identify when they happen (ie. time of day), the duration of the headache, any possible triggers such as what you ate or drank or what you were doing at the onset of the headache.
- Log any medications or other treatments you may have tried to relieve the headache and if any difference was made.