• Lori Goodsell

How to Get Rid of a Headache

This article will give you tips on how to get rid of a headache.  As someone who has virtually recovered from chronic headaches, I definitely can help with a few practical tips on how to get rid of a pesky headache.

The first thing to address is where headaches are coming from. The type of headache that requires worry are the first or worst headaches of someone’s life.  I remember a patient who came into my office and wanted an adjustment RIGHT NOW.  I had never met him and he was sure that the headache only needed an adjustment.  He had never had a headache in his life.  He had never been to a chiropractor or even had an adjustment and was doing everything he could to get me to give him one because he heard from a friend that it would help.  I like to be pretty detailed when I assess people.  Upon further discussion, he reluctantly told me that he had dental work two weeks previously and it had resulted in an infection so severe into his sinus cavities that it had split his upper lip in two.  The man had a long beard and a lot of facial hair and as he spoke it became very obvious that one side of his face was completely swollen all the way into his eye.  I immediately called my radiologist who recommended an immediate brain scan and an immediate check in to the local hospital.  One of the frustrating things about my job is that when a patient doesn’t like my advice ( this man didn’t) I rarely am informed of what happened to him.  This is the type of headache that always makes me incredibly nervous as a chiropractor.  The patient wants it gone and won’t give me the whole story.  If we miss the origin, we all have major problems.

Luckily, most headaches are not related to situations like this and are relatively simple to reduce or eliminate.  The most common cause of headaches stems from the neck.  Excessive screen time in the way of laptop, desktop, iPad or constant texting keeps your head down and increases the pressure on your neck and upper back causing it to have problems over time and refer pain into your head.  A lot of these headaches start as tightness between the shoulder blades which then tightens up the muscles in the tops of your shoulders and then radiates into your head.

Getting regular chiropractic adjustments to help improve the mobility of your spine will also allow you to sit up for extended periods of time with good posture. Chiropractic adjustments will return your spine’s function and movement to normal and will reduce the amount of muscle pull happening between your neck and your skull thus reducing the amount of pain you feel in your head.

In my office, I frequently recommend exercises to improve your posture, advise patients in ergonomic improvements and when people work close by, I frequently stop by on my lunch to check out their desk set ups.

One of the exercises I most frequently recommend is simply pinching your shoulder blades toward your middle belt loop.  That means down and back.  Commonly my patient will bring their shoulders toward their ears when I ask them to do this.  Don’t.  Bring them together and down.  Also, I have them stand against the wall with their eyes pointed straight ahead and arms out for their sides in the position of a cross. (with bent arms)  I want their heels, butts, shoulders, wrists and the back of their head to touch the wall.  All of this while looking straight ahead, not up toward the ceiling.  It’s hard for my desk workers, especially those that have been at it for years. You can make big improvements in your posture doing those exercises, especially when combined with chiropractic adjustments.

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© 2020 by Lori Goodsell, D.C.