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Mental Health

Headaches Shouldn't Be Normal

Archetype Team

Headaches shouldn’t be a normal part of your daily life.

When I meet patients for the first time, they often tell me that they just have those normal headaches so it’s not one of the reasons they came in to see me.  Then I ask “how often are you having those normal headaches?”.  3-4 times per week is a very common answer. 

Having regular headaches is not normal for anyone.

Here are some reasons you might be having regular headaches:

Dehydration

The body is about 60% water and every function in your body relies on water.  The brain is about 73% water and when it is dehydrated it shrinks and starts to pull away from the skull. This causes pain and can result in a dehydration headache.  You should be drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces.  If you sweat or exercise, you need more than that. 

Posture

With the increasing usage of computers and phones, people’s posture is getting worse.  Forward head posture increases the load the neck and shoulders have to carry.  The bones, ligaments, and muscles have to work harder, and tension builds up.  This can cause a headache that starts in the back of the neck and goes into the skull.

Nutritional deficiencies 

Studies show that a diet deficient in vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin B12 can cause headaches. You can have those levels checked with blood work to see if you might need any of them to help you function better.

Stress, anxiety, and depression

You are more likely to get headaches when you are stressed.  Learning how to manage stress can help you with tension headaches.  Therapy can be helpful for anxiety and depression.  Research shows that regular exercise can help with these conditions.

Medications

Headaches can be a side effect of some medications.  You should consult your medical doctor if you think that might be the case with you.

Screen time

You might spend too much time in front of screens throughout the day.  You should find a way to minimize time using screens.  If that is not an option due to work, make sure you take regular breaks from staring at the screen.

Vision

You might not notice that your vision is getting worse or changing, but headaches can be a symptom of that.  You should get your eyes and vision checked to make sure that is not the case.

Poor sleep 

Research shows that there is a connection between sleep disturbance and headaches. Read Dr. Ray's post 7 Ways to Improve Your Sleep to see if that can help you with your sleep patterns.

There are more things that can cause headaches and if you are experiencing a headache that is worse than any headache you have ever experienced you should consult a medical doctor before trying anything else. 

Taking over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can be an easy and quick fix for some people.  These medicines are not fixing the problem, just simply taking away the symptoms.  Taking them long term could also have negative effects on your organs such as the liver and kidneys.

Here at Friends and Family Health Centers, we can assess your posture and look further at your spine to see if your spine may be the cause of your headaches. We also do nutritional consultations and look into blood work to see if nutritional deficiencies may be the problem. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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