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Headaches are extremely common, affecting almost everyone at least once in their life. A headache can feel different for everyone, but repeating, prolonged, or intensifying headaches should be assessed and may be treatable.

Instead of piling on topical treatments and relying on over-the-counter pills, a headache sufferer can opt for a different treatment path that focuses on what is causing the problem instead of the immediate symptoms. The care specialists at Optimum Health Rehabilitation Center utilize chiropractic methods and innovative pain relief services to help eliminate or decrease the effects of ongoing headaches.

At Optimum, you’ll find complete care personalized to your specific needs as a chronic headache sufferer. We have professional care specialists standing by to help you better understand why you’re experiencing the type of pain that you are and how to decrease the symptoms.

Our care providers offer a wide range of non-invasive treatment options that help the body comfortably promote healing. To schedule your initial consultation, call (770) 516-7477 or contact us online.

Comprehensive Headache Treatment at Optimum Health

Treating ongoing headaches typically starts at home. Hot and cold compresses, over-the-counter pills, and topical creams can all be helpful tools at the beginning of your relief journey, but these methods tend to weaken in effectiveness as usage continues.

When these methods begin to fail, it can feel like the end of the road and back to suffering through symptoms. Fortunately, there are more options out there, including trusted chiropractic methods that fight the root of the problem and not the result of it.

A unique point about head pain is that it can stem from an issue in other parts of the body, like the neck and spine. A Woodstock headache specialist at Optimum Health can use chiropractic techniques like spinal manipulative therapy, which help decompress and relax tension in the neck.

Other services that have been proven effective for headache sufferers include trigger point injections, traction, and strategic body stretches.

What Causes Persistent Headaches?

Chronic headaches affect roughly 1 in every 1000 people, according to the World Health Organization, but this statistic covers a broad range of different types of headaches. Most mild headaches are not serious and can be treated with simple methods like over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin.

Unfortunately, this type of approach rarely attacks the root of the problem, eventually putting the headache sufferer back to square one.

You could be experiencing ongoing headaches for a wide variety of reasons, varying in severity and seriousness. Most headaches, even persistent head pain, are considered non-threatening, so it is important to remember to never jump to conclusions when researching your symptoms.

Head pain is often described as sharp or dull, piercing or aching, and throbbing or swelling. These slight differences, along with the placement of your headache, can help a professional understand exactly what is causing it.

Below are some of the most commonly reported causes of non-threatening headaches that are generally resolved with direct treatment of the imbalance: 

  • Lack of sleep: Inadequate sleep can cause decreased plasticity in the brain because it has insufficient time to rejuvenate and refresh overnight. People in demanding careers and new parents are especially likely to experience these headaches frequently, but anyone who hasn’t seen the comfortable side of their pillow in a while is susceptible to this head pain.  
  • Jaw clenching: Many people tighten their jaw when they are thinking intensely, stressed out, or even excited. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is responsible for connecting the skull to the lower jaw, and a repeated clenching movement can inflame the area, causing tightness and headaches. If you notice a pattern in your headaches and that they primarily appear after stressful or exciting situations, you may have a jaw-clenching issue.  
  • Unbalanced diet: The effects of a diet imbalance are vast, as this can affect the functioning ability of the entire body. Headaches are one of many symptoms of an unbalanced diet and tend to follow high-sugar, low-protein habits. It is also a common side effect of low blood sugar. Ongoing headaches can be your body’s way of telling you that your diet needs to change. Experimenting with nutrient-dense food or having a medical professional assess a blood panel can help you understand if this is the underlying cause of your head pain. 
  • Incorrect eyeglass prescription: Wearing the wrong prescription can cause headaches because of how intensely your eyes are straining to see. This type of headache usually grows from the sides of the head or right behind the eyes and is generally resolved once the prescription is fixed. 
  • Stress: Stress headaches are incredibly common and result from overstimulation and tension in day-to-day life. Stress can cause the jaw and neck to clench and contract in a cycle throughout the day, causing stiffness and eventually aches from the top of the head to mid back. Stress headaches can affect anyone but may become more common when a person hits the teenage or early adult years. Stress headaches typically feel like squeezing pain and are resolved with relaxation and mental decompression. 
  • Overuse of headache medication: Not only can headache medication become weaker with use because of growing tolerance, but it can also cause headaches with overuse because of the concentration of the substance in your body. A headache sufferer should diversify their pain relief instead of focusing on one temporary solution like pain pills. 
  • Poor posture: Practicing proper posture means elongating the spine and creating an almost straight line in your back. Bad posture can lead to headaches because of the tension and tightness stemming from the compression in the spine, sending shooting pains to the head and neck.  
  • Hormone fluctuation: Specifically, fluctuating estrogen levels, such as a drop in the hormone in women, can cause headaches. As estrogen levels change frequently, following the phases of her menstrual cycle, hormone-related headaches can be extremely common. 

Some causes of persistent headaches do have serious underlying causes that should be ruled out by a medical professional, including some of the following:

  • Inflammation around the brain
  • Injury
  • Too high or low intracranial pressure
  • Infections
  • Malnourishment
  • Spinal cord infection

Types of Headaches

There are over 300 types of headaches, yet only 10% have a known cause. Headaches are categorized as primary or secondary; these categories separate the cause of the condition.

Primary headaches have no underlying cause and are generally treatable with simple rest or diet changes, but secondary headaches are caused by an underlying factor that needs to be treated more specifically.

The types of primary headaches are as follows:

  • Tension headaches
  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches
  • New daily persistent headaches (NDPH)

Secondary headaches that are not considered serious and should usually stop when treated include:

  • Dehydration headaches
  • Sinus headaches
  • Medication overuse headaches

Even though it is rare to experience these types of headaches, there are certain cases where a secondary headache can be intensely dangerous or life-threatening:

  • Spinal headaches
  • Thunderclap headaches

Preventing Continuous Headaches

It is possible to prevent certain types of headaches, and oftentimes, the most simple habitual changes will make the most difference. Preventative care is one of the most critical ways of stopping the progression of any ailment, and when it comes to headaches, there are a few tips you can keep in mind.

Some of the best ways to prevent ongoing headaches include:

  • Committing to daily exercise: Working out is a great way to prevent the development of recurring headaches because daily exercise can relieve tension in the body and prevent compressed nerves due to bursts of physical movement. Exercise also improves posture and stretches the muscles so you can avoid tension and stiffness in the back. When you work out, your body releases endorphins, which can reduce pain and stress, alleviating multiple types of headaches simultaneously.
  • Quitting smoking: Nicotine intake is directly linked to headaches because of how smoking causes vasoconstriction, narrowing the blood vessels and ultimately altering blood flow. Even though nicotine alone is harmful, there are even more chemicals in smoking products like cigarettes and electronic vaporizers, which can cause headaches as well. Staying away from tobacco and nicotine products can greatly decrease your risk for headaches, and quitting the habit can drastically improve headache symptoms at a rapid pace.
  • Improving nutrition: Getting a variety of nutrients is critical, as is staying hydrated. While many headaches are the result of undernutrition, leading to low blood sugar, others result from an improper balance of nutrients. Consult with a nutritionist to determine if there is a possible deficiency in your diet, and eat a variety of vegetables and other nutrient-rich foods to ensure you receive essential vitamins and minerals you are able to absorb.

Should I See a Doctor For Chronic Headaches?

Managing the effects of persistent headaches can be inhibiting, limiting the tasks and activities that you can accomplish in a single day.

Instead of conforming to the effects of chronic headaches, get your life back with comprehensive headache treatment from Optimum Health Rehab Center. The Optimum team has spent years helping headache sufferers like yourself find long-lasting relief.

When you consult with one of our headache specialists, you’ll learn more about our wide variety of services, and they’ll help you put together a plan of action that tackles the root of your headaches. To meet with a care provider from Optimum Health, schedule your initial appointment by calling (770) 516-7477 or using our simple form to contact us online.

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