Nearly everyone experiences some type of headache pain in their lives. But what exactly is a headache? The common symptom of all headaches is, of course, pain. Headaches come in various forms and have unique pain sensations. Different types of headaches can cause pain in different regions of the head and neck, including skin, large blood vessels, muscles, bones, and structures in the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. A portion of people experience severe headaches known as migraines. Migraines often feature symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to lights in addition to pain.

Here is a list of a few known triggers of headache:

– Allergies
– Smoking
– Poor posture
– Nerve damage
– Hormonal imbalance
– Muscle contraction / spasm
– Diet, stress, & exercise habits
– Environmental causes (bright lights, strong smells, etc.)

If you’re a headache sufferer, there are ways to address headaches on your own before seeing your doctor. Some examples are good sleeping habits (including getting enough restful sleep), a balanced diet without allergens, good posture, exercise, and proper work/home ergonomics.  These lifestyle factors can be some of the simplest but easiest to change and manage the condition. However, they can also be huge contributing factors to headaches if not done or not done properly.

If at-home changes fail to remedy your headaches, then a chiropractor may be required. Treatment such as chiropractic adjustments coupled with posture analysis, soft tissue work, and corrective exercises can be an effective way of managing headaches. Your chiropractor can also evaluate if changes need to be made to your lifestyle or work/home ergonomics.

Many different types of headaches exist; some have similar causes and symptoms, but others do not. Since there are so many types of headaches, it is important to see a trained professional to receive a proper and thorough evaluation and assessment. Assessments include a comprehensive history, orthopedic tests, and an assessment of your lifestyle habits to diagnose common contributing factors that may be causing your headaches.