What causes migraines and headaches?
More often than not, when someone comes though our doors and we perform our thorough assessment on them, we find the cause of their headaches and migraines is a mechanical problem in the neck, affecting the nerves that supply the head.
A while ago, people thought coffee, chocolate, alcohol etc were the culprits of migraines & headaches.
Whilst there is some truth that these can cause headaches (usually it is a withdrawal symptoms from having too much of it then your body craves it more), the vast majority of people who suffer with pain after they have given up these foods and drinks, never had a problem with them.
How can you tell if it is referring from somewhere else?
Referred pain, the technical name for the headaches we see, is when someone has something problematic, such as poor posture. When the head goes too far forward, it can ‘pinch’ the nerves and stretch the muscles that control the head. The pressure that is being exerted on them, then causes them to give off a pain signal to the brain.
You will usually have pain in the eyes, around the forehead and at the base of your skull. It will usually affect only one side, but in some cases if you have lots of problems it can be both sides.
What can you do to try and fix headaches & migraines?
1. Try using an ice pack, rather than a hot bath
Typically, pressure on the nerves is caused by swelling. Going in a hot bath will temporarily get rid of the pain, but it will end up encouraging more swelling, so you’ll end up reaching for a heat pack/hot water bottle. Try using ice.
We recommend using an ice pack every 2 hours, for 20 minutes. Just make sure you wrap a tea towel or something similar around the ice pack first so you don’t get burned.
2. Straighten up!
Poor posture is usually the culprit, So we would encourage people to get their head sitting on top of their bodies. Get this as an interesting fact. If you head, when you’re in the car, isn’t touching the headrest that means you have forward head posture. For every inch off the headrest your head sits, it adds around 10lb’s of extra pressure through your neck.
That’s the first place we would recommend you start. When you are in the car, gently press the back of your head into the headrest, hold it so it just engages your muscles by around 50%, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat this ten times. If you do this every time you get in the car, within a few weeks, or if it is bad months, your head will begin to train itself to sit where it should.
3. Gentle Stretching
And I do mean gentle! holding stretches for around 30 seconds, making sure there is no pain, only a gentle stretching pull is more than enough. The 3 positions to hold are
- ear to shoulder
- looking over your shoulder
- putting your head forwards and backwards
It may seem simple, but it is incredibly effective
Whilst all this may improve some of the symptoms, it is very rare that it can actually fix the cause of the problem
That’s exactly why we have a dedicated Migraine & Headache assessment where we can find the exact cause of the problem and fix it.
All you have to do is fill out the form below and we will contact you to perform a thorough examination, take sEMG scan, do a computerised postural analysis and formulate a plan of action to get rid of your pain ASAP.