When we think of factors that can cause headaches we often think of dehydration, certain foods or drinks (alcohol!) or ‘that time of the month’.
In truth there are many different types of headaches, and many different causes of them as this brilliant blog explains . They are incredibly common and place a burden on not only on the person with the headache, but on society and the economy as well due to the amount of work and school days lost to them.
As a chiropractor there are three areas of the body that I will examine first to see if they could be the cause of your headaches.
1) Your neck
This may be an obvious one but the muscles in your neck can cause pain in your forehead and the back of your neck. This is often due to poor posture when using laptops, tablets, phones or when sitting at your desk at work. Poor posture can cause the joints in your neck and upper back to tighten, which leads to muscle tension which can then trigger headaches. Improving your posture when at your desk and changing your habits when using other screens can help reduce this.
If helpful do check out our blog on screen time: 5 Ways to Stop Screen Time Being a Pain in the Neck
2. The muscles in the front of your neck
Often when we talk about the neck we think about the muscles in the back of the neck. But often the muscles in the front of the neck, the scalenes and the SCM (sternocleidomastoid) can be responsible for headaches and migraines. These muscles can be irritated when we hold our head forward or to one side for long periods of time.
3. Your Jaw
You do not necessarily need to grind or clench your teeth to have a jaw problem. If your neck motion is linked to your jaw movement then this can lead to your neck becoming involved in your jaw actions such as opening your mouth wide to speak or eat. This can lead to an irritation of the neck muscles and internal jaw muscles. We can see if your jaw motion is linked to your neck motion in a simple test as shown in the video below.
If you suffer regularly from headaches and migraines then hopefully this blog will give you a few ideas of areas that could be examined if you saw a Chiropractor and links to a few blogs on habits you could change to help you.