3 Headache Busting Tips

I’m a headache guy.  There’s no secret there.  Now that doesn’t mean I love headaches.  I hate them just as much (if not more) as anyone.  But I used to get headaches all the time and I regularly help headache patients find relief, so that makes me a headache guy.

Now the average person doesn’t mind downing a handful of Tylenol or Excedrin in an attempt to drown their headache sorrows.  But what if that doesn’t work?  Or even yet…what if you aren’t that type of person?  What if you don’t want to fill your body full of pills?  What then?

Well, you are in luck.  If you know what you are doing, headaches DO actually respond very well to conservative treatment.  There is no 1 thing that works perfectly for everyone, but I wanted to share just a couple non-drug tips that can help you teach your headaches who’s boss.  Ready?

One More Thing…Headaches and Your Neck…

Oh wait…before we get started, I have to say something.  If you are going to effectively eliminate your headache pain without using drugs, the upper neck is where you are going to want to focus.  Even if you don’t have any neck pain, this is where most headache sufferers have a tremendous amount of muscle tension.  Problems in that upper part of your spine are the #1 thing that will cause your headaches (or at least make them worse) , even if you don’t ever remember injuring your neck.  I don’t know that I have ever met a headache sufferer that didn’t have issues with their upper neck so if you live with reoccurring headaches, it is likely you have neck issues as well.

So with that said…

  • Improve Your Posture – The most bang for your buck is to work on head position.  Most Americans are what you call “Anterior Head Carriage”  That means your head is out in front of your body instead of being back over your shoulders where it belongs.  Some people are even calling it “text neck” since we spend so much time in a forward head posture looking down and texting.  If you are a headache sufferer, you are going to want to evaluate your head position.  If you are head forward, it is causing a lot of strain to the muscles in your neck and likely making your headaches worse.
  • Stretch Your Neck – Now when I say stretch your neck, I DON’T mean CRACK IT!  Take your neck through it’s Range of Motion and hold your stretches for 10-15 seconds.  Don’t grab your neck and pull/force it.  You don’t want to hurt yourself while trying to do something healthy.  Side Note: If you want to stretch the muscles in the top of your neck, lying on your back and putting 2 tennis balls at the top of your neck can be a great muscle release.
  • Get Your Neck Checked – I know what you are thinking, “Here we go…the chiropractor thinks I need to get adjusted.”  And you’re right. They do.  But Most people who have headaches could benefit from the care of a chiropractor, but not just any chiropractor.  You want to find someone who takes specific x-rays of your upper neck BEFORE he (or she) adjusts you and who can adjust you without twisting your neck.  The upper neck is often misaligned and it reeks havoc on those who are prone to headaches.  (I know.  I was one of those people.)  But cracking your own neck OR going to the first chiropractor on your insurance list to have your neck twisted is usually not the most effective approach.  If you are going to spend your valuable time and hard-earned money going to a chiropractor, do a little research first.