Most people with headaches that I encounter have “tried everything,” and I don’t use quotes to mock. These people have searched high and low on blogs, webMD, asked doctors and friends looking for ways to stop their headaches. I really feel for them and want to help them--I am a healthcare professional, after all. Today I want to talk about 3 natural remedies and 1 strategy for dealing with headaches that some may not be aware of.
Today, research suggests that the most effective natural remedies for headache are taking Magnesium, B-Vitamins, and using Chiropractic care. These can potentially decrease the frequency, intensity, and/or length of headaches by a signficant amount. These options are also quite good because they tend to come with little to no side-effects, as opposed to those which often are associated with painkillers or other interventions. Here’s a little summary about what each does to help headaches:
- Magnesium: low levels of magnesium have been shown to increase the risk of developing migraines. Taking it has been shown to reduce the frequency of headaches.
- B-Vitamins: These vitamins tend to have a positive affect on our mood and stress levels, two traits commonly associated with headaches.
- Chiropractic: researchers have identified that Chiropractic can have a huge positive affect on headache pain, length, and frequency. It does so by helping to correct posture and other physical tension in our bodies often linked with headaches.
Finally, I want to really start to bring this around as we begin to wrap up our month on headaches. Remember that Migraine Buddy app you downloaded two weeks ago and have used religiously to track your headaches? Now that you hopefully have some records to look back at, have you noticed any patterns you weren’t aware of before? It could be that your headaches are affected by high levels of artificial light, the time of day, or something in the outdoors.
The strategy now is to take this information and make small changes to your lifestyle to see how it affects your headaches. As you do so, I have a couple of recommendations:
- First: make one change at a time. If you change your diet, schedule, and medications all at once, and your headaches get better, which one was the on that helped? Or if they didn’t change, could one have helped and the other hurt? Changing one thing at a time will best help you to identify how your body responds to these things.
- Second: Give each change at least one week, up to twice the length between headaches (if you get them less often than weekly), to ensure whether there is a change or not. Sometimes those outward changes take time to affect us on the inside. I recently saw a patient whose headaches actually got slightly worse after each adjustment the first 3 times for a few hours, but 2 days after her 3rd adjustment, she became headache free for the longest period of time in 10 years! If she had just stopped coming in, she never would have found the relief she could get with treatment!
I’m really excited to finally be sharing this information with you. I know that many of you probably hoped I would just come out and give you the magic pill to fix your headaches, but truly, the best thing for you is to first understand your headaches, then track them, and then treat them. I wish you luck as you begin trying out some [hopefully] new things to help your headaches, and find relief promptly! We’ll see you next week with our last headache blog post, and don’t forget that Better Chiropractic is your Premier Gilbert Provider to help you Feel, Live, and Perform Better!