For many people, a chronic headache condition can be a huge problem to deal with. Some would even go so far as to think that it is the bane of their existence. We can’t blame them as people have different pain thresholds. The good news is that there are natural ways of dealing with chronic headaches or migraines.
Most people get surprised when they learn that headaches don’t usually originate in the head. What is the real source of your headache? Most often, it is not the head. Let’s check these eight methods that can help you deal with headaches and migraines efficiently:
#1 Maintain Proper Posture
Keeping your posture correct is crucial to fewer headaches. Frequently, people neglect their posture while sitting for prolonged periods. Also, whenever computer monitors are located too far below your eye level, you suffer from a forward head position. Thus, it would increase the pressure on your neck more and more.
It is critical to have proper lumbar support. It enables you to get correct lower back support while you sit down for long periods. We would also recommend that you still take a minute or two to stretch your muscles, back, and neck every hour if you sit on your desk for extended periods. You can also grab a glass of water, take a bathroom break, or pace around for a minute. Don’t allow yourself to sit for long hours at a time. This procedure also holds if you are going to drive for long hours. Always find the time to take a much-needed break.
#2 Do Neck and Shoulder Stretching
Let’s get right to the point. The neck plays a critical role in most headache problems. Therefore, stretching your muscles, mainly your neck, will significantly benefit your overall health and well-being. You can prevent headaches by regularly stretching your neck slowly. As a result, it can improve the neck’s range of motion. Also, you will be strengthening your neck muscles. Neck and shoulder stretches will help you relax and keep the blood flow circulating correctly to your brain while keeping your spine alignment in check.
#3 Practice Regular Exercise
In general, exercise is excellent for managing pain. It may sound counterintuitive if the cause of your headaches is due to overexertion, right? However, keep in mind that exercises can release hormones in the body. These hormones make you feel good about yourself while reducing your pain levels too. Sounds good, right? So combine core and neck exercises that strengthen your spine. As a result, you will be happier to get the recipe for fewer headaches and a healthier spine.
#4 Manage Your Stress
When tension builds up too much in the shoulders and neck, it will lead to the most frequent kind of headache: tension headaches. Therefore, reducing your stress would also minimize your tension headaches without the use of any medication. The best way is to manage your stress immediately. Therefore, avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Also, here are some stress-reducing techniques for the whole body:
- Meditating early in the morning or late at night before you sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Relaxing hobbies
- Listening to soothing music
- Reading a good book
- Taking a long hot bath
- Talking about things that give you stress (so you can remove it from your system)
#5 Ice Pack
Did you know that ice is the natural enemy of inflammation? Inflammation of the neck is common after experiencing a head or neck trauma like a concussion or whiplash. These injuries frequently lead to chronic headaches. You can reduce neck inflammation by putting an ice pack on the affected area several days after the injury. Remember not to leave the ice on for more than 20 minutes at a time. Also, wrap the ice using a towel to not let it come in direct contact with your skin. Ice also helps the neck whenever it feels sore or stiff from sleeping in the wrong position.
#6 Sleep Position
Some headaches are due to the pillow you are using or the wrong sleep positions. Here are some tips on how to sleep in a situation that can reduce or help prevent headaches.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping with this position keeps your head turned to one side all night. Unfortunately, it can cause headaches, inflammation, and even misalignments in the neck.
- Sleep on your back instead, as it is one of the best positions that keep your neck at a neutral position, fully relaxed. Just be careful not to prop the head up too much. Use a firm enough pillow that can help maintain the standard curve of your neck. Avoid using too thick cushions where your head is in a forward position the whole night.
- If you like sleeping on the side, you can use a small pillow between your knees. This pillow is suitable for your lower back. Use a firmer pillow for your head, so your neck and spine are correctly aligned.
#7 Lifestyle Changes
There are probably several things in your lifestyle that contribute to your regular headaches. If this is true for you, then perhaps a lifestyle change is needed. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes will be right for you. Remember to keep yourself always adequately hydrated. Did you know that if you are dehydrated, you are prone to getting headaches? Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body. Cigarettes can inhibit the blood flow in the body and would lead not only to severe headaches but also to increase the loss of disc matter in your neck vertebrae.
#8 Get Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
As you may have already noticed, the most critical methods of getting rid of headaches naturally are giving more serious attention to your neck rather than the head.
The slightest misalignment in the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) bones (the top two vertebrae in your upper cervical spine) would result in headaches. How? Misalignment in the upper neck restricts the blood flow to the head. It happens because the brainstem would malfunction or become inhibited.
Diagnostic imaging can pinpoint and measure the misalignment accurately. Upper cervical chiropractors use this and make a precise and low force correction to encourage the bones’ gentle realignment. As a result, lasting relief from migraines and headaches happen. Many migraine and headache patients find their problems less frequent or less intense after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care. Some patients even experience being completely headache and migraine free!