Most of us will experience a headache from time to time, and headaches can be caused by all kinds of issues including dehydration, tension and stress, muscle tightness and injury. With common headaches, there are a few things we can do today to help reduce the pain and longevity allowing us to return to normal activities.
Think about the last time you had a glass of water. A dehydration headache may occur after sweating when the body loses essential fluids to function properly, or during long periods where we are not sufficiently hydrating our body. When the body is dehydrated, the brain can temporarily contract or shrink from fluid loss. This mechanism causes the brain to pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache. Adding a little lemon juice and salt to our water can help with the uptake of fluids by replacing the sugars and salts often sweated out of our systems.
2. CHANGE YOUR PILLOW
Pillows can contribute to headache pain, especially if the firmness of the pillow fails to properly keep the head aligned with the neck and spine. It is recommended to change a standard pillow every few months, or whenever they begin to lose the firmness they had when originally purchased. Pillows that support to neck to remain in a neutral position can alleviate pain in the morning by reducing poor vertebral positioning through the cervical spine. Kimberley Physiotherapy has a number of supportive pillows for sale, we can offer advise on the right fit for you.
3. GET A MASSAGE
Massage can help reduce headaches when the therapist can locate the issue behind the headache. Anything from jaw tension, to eye strain, to muscle spasms can be the culprit of headaches. Massage can assist by improving circulation to the area affected, it can decrease the pain when trigger point therapy is used to improve tissue elasticity and restore muscle function, it can decrease levels of cortisol and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system promoting relaxation in the body. A qualified therapist will ask you a number of questions and perform tests to determine the cause of the headache to ensure a longer lasting remedy.
4. SEE AN OSTEOPATH
Osteopathic treatment for neck tension causing headaches combines manual therapy to the tight muscles and joints of the back, and gentle mobilisation of the cervical spine. Your osteopath will also be able to recommend neck and head self-management strategies such as stretching and regular whole body exercise.