The Top 3 Causes of Headaches

Bottom Line:

A variety of factors can cause headaches. The good news is that many of these are lifestyle factors and habits and patterns that you can control. By understanding a few of the most common causes of headaches, you will have the information you need to make those key changes and to get on your way to finding lasting relief!

Why it Matters:

Ironically, one of the most common causes of headaches is the medication usually prescribed to treat headaches. In fact, overuse of many over the counter medications is a leading factor in a refractory (or bounce-back) headache, which is why pills may not be the best option for care. Many tension headaches get their start with repetitive motion and poor posture while sitting or standing at work. Keeping your shoulders back and your spine in proper alignment throughout the day can help prevent future episodes. And finally, most of the good stuff like coffee, cheese, alcohol and meats have substances that can cause headaches. You don’t need to eliminate them, but we recommend having a watchful eye towards moderation.

– Medications: many commonly prescribed pain-relieving medications (including those prescribed for headache relief) list headaches as a top side effect!
– Foods: coffee, cheese, alcohol and many types of meat contain substances that can contribute to headaches.
– Posture: forward head posture caused by long hours sitting or standing at work is a primary factor in the development of tension and cervicogenic headaches.

Next Steps:

Do you see anything in that top 3 list that may be contributing to your headaches? Taking proactive steps by improving your posture and ergonomics at work, moderating the foods which cause headaches, or asking your medical doctor about the side effects of medications and potentially finding alternative treatment options may help you reduce the frequency, severity, and impact headaches are having in your life. If you have any questions, we’re also happy to lend a hand and an ear!

Science Source:

Medications and Substances Causing Headache. Medlink: Neurology. 2017

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