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Common Causes of Headache

woman with headacheDo you have a headache? Right now about one in seven adults do. Headaches may be common, but they aren’t normal. Headaches usually indicate that there is some underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Here are three of the most common causes of headaches. Thankfully, headache patients enjoy a high success rate in our practice.

1. Cervicogenic Headaches – Radiated Pain

A cervicogenic headache is usually a secondary headache. That means an issue in the cervical spine is the cause, but the pain is felt in the head, forehead or eyes.

The vertebrae in the neck are among the smallest bones in the spinal column. Yet they must support the weight of the head while maintaining your ability to turn to the left and right; up and down.

Misaligned vertebrae in the neck are a common cause of headaches. Pain medication or muscle relaxers may temporarily dull the effects, but neglect the underlying structural cause.

“We complete a thorough assessment of the cervical spine,” observes Dr. Le. “By pinpointing the precise cause we can provide the appropriate chiropractic care. Thankfully, we have a very high success rate among those suffering from cervicogenic headaches.”

2. Lifestyle Headaches – Dietary Triggers

Many headaches can be triggered by what we eat or drink. If you get frequent headaches, become more mindful of some of these factors:

Foods - Certain foods, such as tomatoes, avocados and spinach contain substances that can produce headaches. As do fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, processed meats, aged cheeses and soy sauce.

Alcohol - As blood vessels expand the nerve fibers coiled around them are stretched. That activates an inflammatory response. Red wine often contains sulfites and histamines that can produce headaches too.

Gluten - Headaches may be a symptom of celiac disease. About 20% of us have a negative response to this protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Dehydration - You may just be thirsty! Headaches can be a way that your body alerts you that you’re not drinking enough water.

Caffeine -
This addictive substance is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and is added to carbonated beverages. Withdrawal can often cause headaches.

“A key part of our new patient workup is to explore lifestyle habits or dietary issues,” says Dr. Le. “We may suggest an elimination diet or other strategies for our headache patients.”

3. Trauma – Chronic Posture Distortions

Degenerative changes from uncorrected spinal trauma are a common cause of headaches.

Whiplash from a car accident six years ago.

Sleeping on a sagging mattress or unsupportive pillow.

An injury from playing a contact sport two seasons ago.

Low back problems producing a compensation in the neck.

Traumatic birth that has produced longstanding adaptations.

Sitting for extended periods or poor desk ergonomics.

The resulting damage to the muscles and soft tissues in the neck can manifest as headaches. Our bodies can usually adapt—until they can’t. And then symptoms appear.

“Our practice team is especially trained in the assessment and correction of headaches,” smiles Dr. Le. “We’re proud of our results, but our patients are often ecstatic. They are able to get relief naturally, without drugs or surgery.”

Do you or someone you know suffer from headaches? Encourage them to arrange a no-obligation consultation. Together, let’s find out if you’re a good candidate for today’s chiropractic care.

The sooner you act, the sooner we can celebrate your success.

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