Getting a headache for a few hours is already frustrating. It delays your daily routine, makes you irritable, and keeps you from completing tasks. Imagine this pain and frustration can extend for two or more weeks. This is what people with chronic headaches have to endure.
Every chiropractor for migraines and headache disorders would describe chronic headaches as head pains that persist for at least 15 consecutive days in a month. If you have them, taking medications is not a bad idea.
However, you may want to go easy on the painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs as they can bring on more headaches if taken frequently, making things worse. Called rebound headaches, your head pains can last for two weeks or more due to medication overuse. Preventing rebound headaches is precisely the reason why people look for alternative ways to address headaches naturally.
Read on as we’ll share drug-free ways to eliminate chronic headaches, including lifestyle changes and seeking help from a chiropractor for migraines. By the end of the article, we hope to help you determine the best means of dealing with headaches.
8 Natural Ways to Deal with Chronic Headaches
#1. Use Ice Pack
In general, headaches are often caused by inflammation. You can experience inflammation for several reasons, like injuries, medications, underlying illnesses, and allergies. And what can combat inflammation better than ice?
Cooling the swelling area—the neck, for example—can provide immediate relief and reduce your chances of developing headaches. Suppose you sustained a neck injury. Immediately ice your neck (for 20 minutes maximum) to decrease the pain and soreness.
#2. Make Some Lifestyle Adjustments
In many cases, your lifestyle directly affects your health. For example, skipping meals can lead to headaches, among other conditions. If you have a hectic schedule because of work or other activities, be sure you set a time for eating and resting. Neglecting to eat or drink regularly can result in headaches that can become chronic in time.
If you smoke or drink alcohol, you are also at risk of getting chronic headaches. You might be wondering why. The relationship between these habits and headaches is simple: dehydration.
Dehydration is a typical reason for headaches, and every chiropractor for migraines knows this for a fact. How exactly? Dehydration can hinder normal blood circulation in the body. With the delay of oxygen and necessary nutrients to the brain, headaches can occur.
Quit smoking while it’s still early. Not only your lungs will thank you but also your head. In addition, when you get drunk, you may wake up with a piercing headache. So, instead of grabbing another beer or any alcohol, drink a glass of fresh and cool water.
#3. Cope with Stress Healthily
Stress is a leading trigger for headaches. When we get stressed, our brains release stress hormones. These chemicals have kept humans alive for thousands of years. Ironically, constant exposure to these hormones may put your health at risk and cause chronic bouts of headaches.
So, it would be best to get yourself involved in healthy coping mechanisms and activities to de-stress. Find an enjoyable activity that can be a positive outlet for your stress. Try out some of these activities and see what you enjoy most:
- Writing or drawing
- Spending time with your loved ones
- Listening to music
- Reading a book
- Watching a feel-good film
- Warm showers
- Stress therapy
#4. Stretch Your Neck Muscles
The neck is a critical body part. If you do not take good care of this delicate thing, you’d likely experience its retaliation in the form of head pain, neck ache, and stiffness. Try out some stretching exercises to reduce tension in your neck and shoulder muscles. These exercises do not take too much time, and you can do these activities any time of the day.
#5. Exercise Regularly
You might think that exercising can make your headaches worse. Well, that depends entirely on the type of exercise you do. Strenuous activities that involve heavy lifting, sprinting, or rigorous movements can trigger headaches. However, mild to moderate exercises can improve an already ongoing attack.
#6. Keep a Good Posture
In case you didn’t know, controlling yourself from slouching can help reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches. Slouching or craning your head forward can place excess tension in your neck and impede the blood flow to your brain, resulting in headaches.
If you have a desk job that glues you on your computer for an entire day, a chiropractor for migraines would suggest that you try to stand and stretch at least once every hour.
#7. Correct Your Sleep Position
The way you sleep is another plausible culprit for your headaches. When we hit the sack at night, we usually stay in one position until morning. Believe it or not, our sleeping position can either make or break our day when we wake up.
If you are constantly dealing with headaches, do not sleep on your belly as much as possible. When you sleep on your stomach, you’d likely turn your head to one side the entire night. Staying in one position for a long period can lead to neck stiffness and pain, which leads to headaches.
Instead, maintain the natural position of your neck by sleeping on your back. Falling asleep on your back is the best position to reduce headaches.
#8. Get Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
The actual origin of your chronic headache may not be your head. In many cases, the neck was the source of head pains. Misalignments in the neck are among the most common reasons for headaches, migraines, neck pain, and even loss of balance. Unfortunately, misalignments are pretty prevalent. The great news is that upper cervical chiropractors can correct these misalignments.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a practice that only requires gentle and precise adjustments to realign the neck bones in their original positions. Many patients who have dealt with pain and other conditions have experienced relief thanks to upper cervical chiropractic care. If you want to experience the same comfort, check out the nearest upper cervical chiropractor for migraines in your area.