A recent study reported that the average worker has 57 headaches per year. That’s more than one headache per week! Amazingly enough, we’ve been lead to believe this is “normal.” Rather than addressing the root cause of the headache, we’ve been conditioned (largely by pharmaceutical companies) to reach for pain relievers. Based on our standard treatment, you’d think that our body was suffering from an aspirin deficiency! Aside from drugs, what are some options?
First of all, there are many types of headaches and it’s important to rule out serious problems by getting a proper diagnosis before treatment. Having ruled out a serious, organic problem, dehydration is a frequent cause of the common headache. I recently recommended to a patient who’d been suffering with headaches for years that she increase her water in-take. Her headaches stopped within a few days. Remember to drink pure, non chlorinated water, at least 64 ounces a day. Iced tea, coffee, sodas, and juice do not count.
Diet also often plays a large part in headaches. Avoid foods you may be sensitive or allergic to such as additives like MSG. Try to correlate your headaches with what you ate and then try an elimination diet to see if that makes a difference. Supplementing with vitamins C, E and B3, calcium, magnesium, quercitin with bromelain and fish oil can be helpful. Also herbal remedies with feverfew, gingko biloba, ginger, cayenne, garlic and onion may also help, especially with migraines.
Unfortunately, no amount of pain killer, water, or dietary changes will fix the headache if it stems from a structural misalignment or muscular problem. Bodywork such as massage, physical therapy, and chiropractic all produce excellent results for most headaches. Best of all is a comprehensive approach that addresses dietary practices and structural health. I would be happy to talk to you about what will work for you.
Dr. Rick Schlussel is a Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist providing preventive health care, treatment for pain and injuries, holistic health assessments and a variety of natural therapies. He can be reached at Presence Wellness Center and Spa at 530-889-0388 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org