If you suffer from chronic headaches, you may realize that there are a number of factors that can set the next episode in motion. Since triggers vary from person to person, it is important to learn yours. Some are avoidable, and others will at least give you a warning that there is a potential for a headache. Here are some triggers that may surprise you. We will also take a look at a natural therapy that many headache sufferers are finding helpful. This often leads to fewer and less severe attacks.
Trigger 1 – Grinding Your Teeth
Stress is one of the main triggers for headaches, but this is a very specific way in which stress leads to headaches. If you grind your teeth in your sleep (this condition is bruxism), you may wake up with an aching jaw. You may even find that your teeth are wearing prematurely despite your best efforts to keep them clean and protected. However, headaches are another symptom of bruxism, so if you have all of these symptoms in common, you may need to have a dentist make you a custom-fit mouthguard for sleeping. This can prevent you from grinding your teeth and reduce how many headaches you get while you pinpoint the source of stress and work to relieve it.
Trigger 2 – Your Office Job
What many people do not realize is that there is a direct correlation between poor posture and headaches. Therefore, your office job may be one of your biggest triggers. From poor posture during your commute to monitors that are too low at the office, sitting all day long presents numerous opportunities for poor posture that can lead to chronic headaches. Watch your technology use as well because checking your smartphone 100 times per day is another way to hurt your posture and can lead to headaches.
Trigger 3 – Visual Stimuli
Two major headache triggers are bright lights and glare (including glare from screens on technology). Why do visual stimuli contribute to headaches? What your brain has to process through your eyes uses a lot of your processing power. Bright lights and glare can be very taxing on your brain. Plus, many people who get headaches also suffer from sensory sensitivities, so overstimulated senses can trigger headaches and other symptoms. You can counteract this by using sunglasses outdoors and by having a special coating added to your lenses to block blue light from screens.
Trigger 4 – Relaxing
Stress is a major headache trigger because stress causes the body to increase production of a number of hormones suddenly. However, when you relax, these hormones levels drop suddenly. This too can lead to a headache. So what can you do? Should you stop looking for a way to relax and just let the stress build? That’s not good for you at all. The secret is to have stress coping mechanisms that limit how high your stress hormone levels go. Then they won’t have as far to drop when you relax, and you can avoid these “let-down” headaches.
Trigger 5 – Letting Anger Build Up
Besides stress, there are other strong emotions that can lead to headaches if they are allowed to build up with no release. So what can you do about pent up anger? Rather than unleashing angry words or actions on another person, the far healthier way to deal with these emotions is to talk to someone, count to 10, learn deep breathing exercises, head to the gym, or take up a relaxing hobby that can get your mind off of things.
Trigger 6 – Changes in the Weather
This is one of the trickiest triggers to deal with because you can’t control the weather and it is often unpredictable, so just looking at a weather report isn’t enough to determine when your next headache will occur. It is rarely recommendable to move because weather patterns change, and you may find that the place you move to suddenly has some of your weather triggers anyway. Just know that some of your triggers may be related to changes in barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and even how close you are to a storm.
Finding Natural Relief from Chronic Headache Conditions
Regardless of your triggers, you need to get to the bottom of your headache condition if you want to find long-term relief. Sometimes this can mean going all the way to the top, of the spine that is. The top bone in the neck, the atlas, can have all sorts of effects on the central nervous system if it is out of alignment. From increasing intracranial pressure and decreasing blood flow to the brain to placing pressure on the brainstem and affecting how it functions, the effects of even slight misalignments are capable of causing chronic headaches and other symptoms.
Upper cervical chiropractors specialize in detecting and correcting atlas misalignments using gentle means. First, precise measurements are taken so that a precision adjustment can be calculated. These adjustments are low force and do not feature the popping and twisting you may associate with chiropractic care. Many headache sufferers have found long-term relief after the atlas is restored to a normal position.
If you suffer from headaches on a regular basis, especially if you also get neck pain before or during an attack, you are a good candidate for upper cervical care. Contact a practitioner in your area today and schedule a consultation to learn more about what upper cervical chiropractic care can do to improve your health naturally.