Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have a Splitting Headache?

If you have a headache, you're not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache?

Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

New research shows that an adjustment, just like the one's we perform at this office - is an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in your neck.

A report released by researchers at the Duke University found that an adjustment resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

But to get to the bottom of the problem, you first need to find out what is causing your pain.

Headaches have many causes, or "triggers." These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.).

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

"The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck," What Can You Do? If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour.

The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.

Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.

Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. Last but not least, drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches and try to avoid caffeine.

Foods such as chocolate, coffee, sodas and cocoa contain high levels of the stimulant.

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