by Dr. Jennifer Fergusson

Most of us have experienced a headache at some point in our lives.  Headaches often pop up just when you have plans and can ruin a great weekend.  There are many causes of a headache and some headaches can signify a serious medical condition, so it’s a good idea to get them checked out. Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to assess and diagnose headache signs and symptoms. Migraines, whiplash associated headaches, TMJ issues, sinus headaches, tension and cervicogenic headaches are common causes of head and neck pain treated by Chiropractors.

The most common headache people experience is a Tension Headache. This can often be well managed by you and your chiropractor.

These headaches present with increasing tension and pressure in a band-like pattern around the head that often increases as the day or week wears on. They can last from 30 minutes to 7 days.

Poor posture can exacerbate this type of headache. Sitting at a desk or computer for long periods of time causes tightening of muscles in the neck and back of the skull leading to muscle and joint injury over time. Stress can also trigger or make a tension Headache worse.

If you suffer from Tension Type Headaches, try these tips;

Exercise –regular exercise can help release stress and relax tense muscles. Take a walk, swim or go for a bike ride.

Healthy Lifestyle – maintain healthy eating and sleeping habits. Try cutting out caffeine or alcohol and processed foods.

De-Stress – find ways to cope and manage your stress. Try yoga or meditation, work on improving organizational skills or try speaking with a counselor.

Improve your Posture– take mini breaks from your desk at least every hour. Change your position often to limit stress on tissues and joints.

Relax your Muscles – try heat and ice or massage to help reduce the tension in the muscle of the head, neck, and jaw.

Learning how to manage and cope with your tension headache can help minimize the frequency and intensity of these headaches so they don’t ruin your summer!

profile picDr. Jennifer Fergusson BASc, DC graduated Cum Laude with Clinic Honours from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. She maintains a family practice in Almonte.