Headaches’ are the most common ailment worldwide, but I’ll say it again – common does not mean normal. We should not suffer headaches, especially on a regular basis....
There can be numerous reasons that they can strike such as; blood sugar irregularities, eye-strain, neck tension, over exertion, dehydration and dietary deficiency. In the case of the migraine there is a strong genetic link where 90% of sufferers have a close relative that also suffers the condition.
Common treatment for headaches and migraines are over the counter painkillers, which offer a fast and effective pain relief….but not without a catch; overuse of these can lead to users suffering rebound headaches caused by too much medication, which leads to a perpetuating cycle where you in turn take even more painkillers.
Here are my top tips for addressing the root cause of a headache:
1. Address stress: the most common cause of a headache is tension. Start and finish the day with a relaxing ritual, take regular breaks from your task during the day and always breathe deeply where your breath forces your belly to extend.
2. Correct dehydration: it is essential to drink around 2 litres of water a day and more with exercise. Tea and coffee are diuretic beverages, meaning they dehydrate you, so you may need to cut these back and also ensure extra water is consumed following drinking either of these.
3. Check your posture: many jobs are relatively sedentary, meaning you are positioned either at a desk or in a static position most of the day, possibly causing your muscle to tense. Every hour on the hour take a quick scan of your body….Are you hunched over? Are your shoulders tight and around your ears? You may need to do some quick neck stretches to release.
4. Eat regularly: skipping meals or leaving too long between meals causes your blood sugar levels to dip, which may result in a headache. Starting off the day on the right foot is most important so make sure a wholesome breakfast is on the menu. Eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado, or an oat and nut based breakfast are good options to regulate blood sugar levels.
5. Mighty magnesium: magnesium is our ‘relaxing’ mineral and it eases muscles after contractions as well as mental tension. If you suffer other symptoms such as cramps, muscle twitches or spasms, jaw clenching, anxiety or tooth grinding alongside your headaches or migraines you may have a deficiency. Supplementation may be needed, always seek advice.