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Top 3 Headaches - The Causes, Symptoms, and What You Can Do to Help

headache migraine tension cervicogenic dr ida chiro

On a global scale, about 1 in every 2 people suffer from some form of headache in their lifetime. As chiropractors, we can help alleviate your pain!

Here are the top 3 headaches and what you can do about them!


The causes

A migraine can be a debilitating headache, one that throws you off your game. It can come with sensitivity to light, sound and smells. It can make you feel dizzy and/or nauseous. Migraines are typically categorized by being either Classic; which includes sensitivity to lights and sounds, or Common; which lacks sound and light sensitivity but is still triggered by specific foods or circumstances. Most of the time, they are associated with triggers, which can include hormonal changes, stress, ingredients in foods and changes in your sleeping pattern.

The symptoms

A migraine can feel like your head is throbbing, and it can range from relatively mild to very intense. Most people frequently describe an AURA, where they can see flashes of lights or tingling.

What you can do at home

  • Attempt to retreat to a quiet room with the lights turned low

  • Avoid foods or environmental triggers that can trigger a migraine, common triggers can include red wine, chocolate and smoking

  • Keep a warm towel for your forehead

  • Attempt lying down or sitting still as to not induce dizziness or nausea

Cervicogenic Headaches

The causes

By definition, the word cervicogenic means “coming from the neck”, therefore a cervicogenic headache is a headache that comes from tightness in the muscles or joints of the neck. Pain can be made worse by movement of the neck and generally is improved with rest and spinal manipulation.

The symptoms

Like all headaches, the discomfort felt with a cervicogenic headache can range from mild to intense. The pain usually starts on one side of the head or neck and moves upwards towards the skull. Fortunately, with a cervicogenic headache, there is no dizziness, nausea or sensitivity to light and sound.

What you can do at home

  • With a cervicogenic headache, stretching is very effective in relieving the tension in the neck muscles.

  • Using a heat pack, taking a hot shower or soaking in an Epsom salt bath are all effective ways in reducing muscle tension

Tension-Type Headaches

The causes

People suffering from tension-type headaches will know that it feels as if a band-like structure is squeezing around their head, forehead and temples. These headaches are most often associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, straining of the eyes and poor posture.

The symptoms

Dull and achy band-like tension is the most common description of this type of headache. These people often have high levels of stress and anxiety in their lives and tightness all throughout their head and forehead area. Luckily, there is typically no nausea, vomiting or dizziness that occurs.

What you can do at home

  • Try a gentle massage of your forehead and temples, using a soothing oil such as peppermint or lavender

  • Avoid high stress situations, using mindfulness techniques to have more re-assuring positive thoughts

  • Use a warm towel along your forehead to help soothe the area

How to seek help

Chiropractors are experts in the treatment of the muscles and joints of the body, and they are well-versed in the care of neck pain and headaches. When visiting a Chiropractor at The Wellness Group Aurora for your headaches, here are a few things that you can expect:

  • Gentle movements of the joints of the neck

  • Spinal manipulation, if necessary

  • Acupuncture to the tight muscles and to help alleviate stress

  • Soft tissue release/massaging of the muscles of the neck

  • Light stretches and exercises to help alleviate tension

  • Education on how to avoid headaches in the future

Don’t let a headache throw you off your game. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you!

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