If you suffer from headaches, you're not alone. In fact, headaches are one of the most common health problems in the world.
Headaches for some may not interfere with their day to day tasks. While for others it can be debilitating.
I know I suffered with headaches for years before getting the right diagnosis and treatment plan. There were days I couldn’t work or go to social gatherings because of the pain, nausea, light and noise sensitivity that tagged along with my headache.
There are many different types of headaches, each with its own unique set of symptoms and causes. So be sure to check out our blog post: have headaches? Start here.
There are many treatment options when it comes to headache, and you may be feeling overwhelmed when it comes to your options.
Here we are going to layout a few natural treatment options to help guide you to getting the right treatment for your headaches.
This may seem like an obvious one. But if you are anything like me, you might get hyper focused into your work and just forget about drinking water.
But drinking plenty of water can help to relieve headaches caused by dehydration. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and reduce the frequency of headaches.
This is most effective when you drink small amounts of water throughout the day. Not by drinking a ton of water at the end of the day when you realize by 4pm you haven’t had anything to drink except for one glass of water and coffee (I’m talking to myself here…).
Lack of sleep can be a common trigger for headaches.
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night can help to reduce the frequency of headaches. So, I highly recommend getting yourself into a regular sleep routine.
Your brain thrives on its circadian rhythm, that is you body’s natural “internal clock”.
If you spend your weekends up until 2 am and waking up at 11 am, but on weekdays, you need to wake up by 6 am this is going to effect your circadian rhythm negatively.
If at all possible, try to wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day (including weekends).
This made all the difference for me for my headaches and avoiding a mid-day crash during the weekdays.
3. Relaxation Techniques
Stress is a common trigger for headaches. Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, prayer, yoga and/or tai chi can help to reduce stress and alleviate headache symptoms.
I recommend setting 10-15 minutes aside in the morning before the day begins to get too crazy.
If you have young children that you need to care for, get up a few minutes earlier before they do. This ensures you spend time taking care of yourself.
4. Exercise & Physical Therapy
Physical therapy can help headaches in several ways.
First, it can help to improve your posture and body mechanics. Poor posture can put stress on your neck and shoulders, leading to tension headaches. A physical therapist can work with you to identify any postural issues and teach you exercises and stretches to help correct them.
Second, physical therapy can help to reduce muscle tension. Tight muscles in the neck, shoulders, and upper back can contribute to headaches, especially tension headaches. A physical therapist can use techniques like massage, trigger point release, joint mobilizations, and stretching to help relieve muscle tension and reduce headache frequency and intensity.
Third, a physical therapists with advanced training in the vestibular system (a vestibular therapist) can look for additional factors that may be causing your headaches such as imbalances between your visual, vestibular (inner ear), and the joints and muscles of your neck (proprioception). When these signals are not communicating the right messages or have mis-matched messages to the brain, this can lead to headaches (and even dizziness or vertigo for some).
Finally, physical therapy can help to improve your overall physical fitness. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress, which is a common trigger for headaches.
Exercise can also help to improve blood flow to the brain, which can help to reduce headache symptoms. You want to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.
Essential oils such as lavender or peppermint can help to alleviate headache symptoms.
Adaptiv and Past Tense are my favorite blends to help support my headaches symptoms and stress relief.
Try applying a few drops to your temples or using a diffuser.
In conclusion, headaches can be a frustrating and debilitating health problem, but natural remedies can be an effective treatment option for many people. By improving your hydration, sleep and relaxation schedule, improving your overall physical fitness, and aromatherapy, you may be able to support and manage your headaches with natural remedies. With the help of a qualified physical therapist, you can take steps towards feeling better and enjoying life again!