28 Feb Headaches are not normal
Is there such a thing as a normal headache? Most of us still agree that “a couple of headaches a week” is normal. HEADACHES ARE NOT NORMAL.
Cephalgia or head pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Although the brain itself is insensitive to pain, all its surrounding tissues are very pain sensitive. These include the brain’s protective covering, the arteries and veins, and sinuses.
What is most surprising to me, however, is that headaches most commonly do not originate in the head. Recent studies have concluded that greater than 80% of headaches are actually caused by problems in one’s neck.
Most of us ignore our headaches. Usually they are incredibly annoying and inevitably ruin our day. If they worsen, they make us cranky enough that to ruin the day of those around us. It will normally take multiple, rather severe headaches to get us to visit our doctor and complain about it.
A diagnosis of cephalgia from your doctor is not good enough because it tells nothing of causation. Migraine headache is a better diagnosis but still…not good enough. Migraine tells us that the headache stems from a decrease in the amount of oxygenated blood to an area of the head. The diagnosis should go even further to explain what is causing the lack of blood flow. Unfortunately, it is rarely known what the cause of the migraine is. Therefore, most migraines are named according to its characteristics: the area effected, the frequency of attacks, other associated symptoms, etc.
The “tension headache”, otherwise known as the “common migraine” is by far the most common type of headache. This is diffuse, usually dull pain which is maximal in the forehead, temple, and top of the head. Bending over or straining usually aggravates the pain. This type of headache usually stems from the muscles at the base of your neck and back of your head. Stressful life conditions cause an excess of adrenaline to be release into the blood which causes these muscles to become partially contracted for long periods of time. Those of you that have this know exactly which areas I mean. Often, the sources of stress can not be eliminated. The other recourse is to have these muscles treated regularly by a chiropractor or deep tissue massage therapist. Yoga, biofeedback, regular exercise, and calming herbs such as valerian root also help tremendously in ridding stress from the body.
The headache I just described can also result from a loss of the normal curvature in one’s neck. This usually occurs in those of us who perform daily duties which require us to look downward for extended periods. Over the months or years, the muscles of the posterior neck become extremely overworked and begin to radiate pain into the head. The longer we let it go, the worse the neck and head pain becomes. The good news is that a short period of chiropractic manipulation and specific exercises can return the normal curvature and eradicate the pain forever if the exercises are continued.
Never ignore your headaches because the real cause of them may not be so obvious. Persistent, unrelenting headaches can also be a sign of an intracranial growth or malignant hypertension. These causes of headache can be fatal if left ignored too long.
People in their later years must immediately consult their physician if the have had an extended period of time with pain in the region of the temple or forehead that tends to worsen when chewing. A disease called temporal arteritis can cause blindness if left untended to.
Headaches can also be caused by any number of allergies. As with any allergy, narrowing down the causative agent can be very difficult.
I hope that I have been able to provide some insight for you on this topic. In reality, the subject of headache is so broad that an entire week of lecturing and study was needed to cover it at New York Chiropractic College.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]