Headaches and migraines are incredibly common and debilitating, yet under-treated. Here we share our unique approach to treating headaches ~ including adjustments + holistic home techniques + stretches!
There are many different types of headache + migraine conditions that have varying symptoms but all revolve around head pain. Chiropractic adjustments can be incredibly beneficial for relieving the pain and other symptoms that come with headaches like neck stiffness/tightness, eye pain, light disturbances, and more.
At Chiro for Moms, our two main components to care are chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue work. Chiropractic adjustments, specific for headaches, focus on correcting misalignments [particularly in the upper neck + upper back] in order to restore both MUSCULAR + NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTION. This can help reduce muscle tightness and improve range of motion. Adjustments also provide pain relief. The “pain nerves” are no longer yelling at the brain since they are realigned + functioning properly.
The soft tissue aspect of care also provides relief by reducing tension in the muscle, targeting any muscle adhesions, and it increases blood flow [which increases healing.]
One of the biggest keys to finding relief is identifying your individual triggers. This can be easier said than done since triggers can vary so much! One way to approach it is by keeping track of when you are experiencing headaches + any activity or situation that could be associated. The ultimate goal is to identify a pattern! Here are some common headache triggers below that might help you find a place to start! Eliminate your triggers or find tools to help reduce your triggers affect.
Common triggers include:
— Increased stress
— Hydration + Fuel status : even mild dehydration and lowered blood sugar levels can trigger headaches
Try to aim for 8+ hours of sleep. Eliminate screen time at least an hour before bed [including phones!]. In the morning, establish a routine and get bright natural sunlight as soon as you can. The sun helps us regulate our own circadian rhythm.
Peppermint oil can be helpful for muscle tightness + other general symptoms of headaches and migraines. This is primarily because of the methanol. Make sure topical solutions are diluted properly [particularly if you are making them at home.] In the office we love using DeepBlu or Biofreeze on the upper shoulders and neck.
Acupuncture is a great tool you can turn to if you are battling headaches and need additional help! Here is one acupuncture point associated with headache relief that you can perform on yourself! As depicted below, the point is located between the base of the thumb and index finger. The site may be slightly tender, but apply adequate pressure until sensation fades away.
As we mentioned before when we were discussing triggers, hydration and food can both be involved in headache symptoms. When it comes to headaches we like to focus on 3 main things:
1. Hydration: Being well hydrated means consuming at least half your body weight in ounce of water each day! [So if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces/day]. You can also check your hydration status with your urine output. You should urinate pale yellow about 5 times a day.
2. Common food allergens can trigger headaches in some people. Rather than paying for an allergen test, you can try eliminating the food for a few weeks and see if your symptoms improve! Common food allergies include : dairy, corn, soy, nuts, eggs, and gluten.
3. Magnesium : Studies have found that people with headaches have significantly lower magnesium concentrations and magnesium treatment was seen to be an effective treatment for some patients with headaches. You can try taking a magnesium supplement like the one we have linked. Focusing on magnesium rich foods [like pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds, and spinach] is also a good idea.