Headaches are one of the most common complaints among basically…everyone. When you feel a headache coming on, you want to know what’s causing it. While the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) identifies a staggering 150 different types of headaches, some are far more common than others.
The good news is that home or chiropractic treatment is often enough to treat them. Below is a rundown of common headache types, their triggers and symptoms, and their natural treatment options.
Tension headaches are the most common headaches. The classic symptom is a dull, nagging pain across the head. The pain may persist for hours, which makes stress headaches debilitating. Other common symptoms include:
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Shoulder, face, head, and neck tenderness
- Pressure sensations behind the eyes
Stress often causes tension headaches but other triggers to watch out for include:
- Eye strain
- Posture problems
- Hunger or thirst
- Lack of exercise
You can typically continue your day with a tension headache, but it is frustrating. Holistic treatment options are:
- Chiropractic therapy to reduce muscular tension
- More rest and time away from computer screens
- Eating and drinking water regularly
- Moving around during the day to avoid stiff and cramped muscles that cause bad posture
- Soothing essential oils or herbal supplements to relax you
Changing estrogen levels may cause headaches in menstruating individuals. These headaches typically occur just before a period and they can last all day.
It’s a good idea to get extra sleep and stock up on nutrients such as magnesium when you develop a hormone headache. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods.
Meditation and very gentle exercise also help because these activities stimulate the production of feel-good hormones like serotonin.
When you have a cold or an infection in your sinuses, the pressure and inflammation can trigger sinus headaches. The headache might feel similar to a migraine, but the symptoms are different:
- Blocked or runny nose
- Dull, throbbing pain around the forehead, eyes, cheeks, and nose
- Pain that may spread to the upper jaw and the upper back teeth
- A feeling of pressure
Helpful treatments include:
- Essential oils to unblock mucus
- A sinus rinse
- Facial massage
- Immune-boosting vitamins and foods such as ginger, garlic, and orange juice
Cluster headaches arrive without warning. They can last up to three hours and occur several times per day. Cluster headaches cause:
- Severe burning or piercing pain around or behind one eye
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Sinus symptoms
- A watery eye or swollen eyelid
Triggers include smoking and alcohol. Since stress can also trigger cluster headaches, a massage from a chiropractor can help, as can essential oils or CBD.
Drinking too much coffee–four cups per day, or more–has been shown to trigger caffeine headaches. What’s more, if you suddenly stop taking caffeine, you might suffer withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Lack of focus or concentration
Energy drinks and other caffeine sources can also cause these headaches.
It’s best to limit your caffeine intake as much as possible. Rest, water, an improved diet, and plenty of sleep are also effective cures.
Sometimes, headaches follow head or neck injuries. The pain is often muscular and nothing to worry about, but even minor muscle damage can cause pains for a few weeks.
Although head injuries commonly occur during contact sports, accidents such as road traffic collisions may also cause damage. It’s always best to let a chiropractor take a look if you experienced a minor head injury because you may benefit from treatments such as rehab exercises for strained muscles or natural pain relief.
If you’ve been in an accident, such as a vehicle collision, it’s definitely a good idea to book a chiropractic appointment.
An exertion headache occurs after a bout of intense exercise. It often affects athletes. Other triggers include strenuous sexual intercourse and prolonged bouts of sneezing or coughing.
The most common symptom is usually a generalized, throbbing pain.
These headaches clear up on their own or respond well to natural treatments including rest and massage to relieve muscular tension.
Migraines typically cause throbbing pain on one side of the head. The pain can be very intense and interfere with daily activities. Sometimes, the pain comes after:
- Visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or blind spots
- Muscle weakness
- Partial numbness
Migraines can last up to 3 days. Common triggers include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Food intolerance
- Very bright light or loud noise
Although migraines can be debilitating, there are effective natural remedies, including:
- Dietary changes or vitamin supplements
- Resting in a dark and quiet place
- Cold packs on your forehead
- Essential oils and herbal supplements
At Natural Health Houston, we offer comprehensive chiropractic care and natural health advice. We provide our clients with personalized nutrition plans, therapeutic exercise programs, CBD, and alternative health guidance. For more advice or information, or to arrange a chiropractic appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us today.