Tips to prevent the 3 most common headaches
Spinal Health Week has kicked off in Australia, and the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) has released a new survey on the impact of headaches in the country. The results are eye-opening: a staggering 65% of Australians suffer from headaches, costing the economy over $35.7 billion each year. That’s a hefty price to pay for something so common.
Headaches are holding back more than 7 million Australians with tension headaches and 4.9 million with chronic migraines. These debilitating headaches not only limit social activities but also hamper concentration and productivity at work and home, ultimately diminishing the overall quality of life for sufferers. It’s alarming to think that more people in Australia suffer from migraines or tension headaches than diabetes, epilepsy, and asthma combined.
One interesting finding is that among those who sought relief from a chiropractor for their headaches, an astounding 89% reported experiencing relief, and 81% even gained additional benefits for their spinal health. This suggests that chiropractic care may hold promise for those seeking relief from headaches and improve their overall well-being.
This subject has received significant media coverage, like this story on the Channel 7 News. Click here to watch video.
To prevent the three most common headaches (tension headaches, migraines, and cervicogenic headaches), here are some tips:
- Manage stress: Identify and address the sources of stress in your life. Practice stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in hobbies and activities you enjoy.
- Improve posture: Maintain proper posture while sitting and standing. Avoid slumping or hunching over, especially when working at a computer. Take regular breaks and stretch to relieve muscle tension.
- Regular movement breaks: Incorporate regular movement breaks into your daily routine. Stretch your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles to relieve tension and prevent headaches.
- By improving spinal function, chiropractic care may help people with tension headaches.
- Identify triggers: Keep a headache diary to identify triggers specific to your migraines. Common triggers include certain foods, bright lights, loud noises, disrupted sleep patterns, and hormonal changes. Avoid or manage your exposure to these triggers.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule: Establish a consistent sleep routine and ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Avoid excessive sleep or sleep deprivation, as both can trigger migraines.
- Manage stress: Stress can be a trigger for migraines. Implement stress management techniques, such as relaxation exercises, meditation, and regular physical activity.
- One large Australian study showed significant improvement for migraineurs with chiropractic care, especially with reduction of medication use.
Cervicogenic (neck related) Headaches
- Seek chiropractic care: Since cervicogenic headaches are related to neck and upper spine disorders, chiropractic care can often provide relief. Consult with one of our chiropractors who can assess and treat any underlying spinal issues that may be contributing to your headaches.
- Improve posture and ergonomics: Maintain good posture while sitting and standing to reduce strain on the neck and upper spine. Use ergonomic chairs and equipment, and adjust your workstation to ensure proper alignment.
- Stretch and strengthen neck muscles: Perform gentle neck stretches and exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles supporting your neck. This can help alleviate tension and reduce the frequency of cervicogenic headaches.