It’s a bit of a headache…..

It’s a bit of a headache…..

Over 50% of people worldwide suffer from headaches – but what can be done to alleviate the pain, control the symptoms and prevent them returning on a regular basis?

At one time or another in our lives, we will all experience a headache and, for some, they are a recurring event. In fact, leading UK consultant neurologist John Patten states that headaches are the most common symptom encountered in medicine. The NHS reports that the most common headache types are tension and neck related, with over-medicating being the key-factor in the increase of chronic headaches.

What are the types of headaches and what causes them?

There are many types of headaches, each with their own causes and many having overlapping symptoms. A patient’s history is often thought to be the best tool for determining the nature of the headache.  Types include:

  • Vascular – migraine and cluster headaches
  • Tension – caused by muscular contraction
  • Pressure/inflammatory – caused by a tumor or infection
  • Cranial neuralgia – facial or muscular pain
  • Eye strain and sinus issues – can cause headaches, as well as dehydration.

What can be done to help ease the pain of a headache?

With half the population experiencing at least one headache in the past year, we have become very good at “self-medicating”, especially with the variety of cost-effective medication on the market.

But are there any simple preventative measures that can be employed to reduce the risk of developing a headache? The short answer is yes!  And here are my top six tips to get you started:

  1. Drink 1-2 litres of water each day;
  2. Try to eat regularly to maintain your blood sugar levels;
  3. Relax your neck and shoulders as much as possible;
  4. De-stress daily through meditation and other means;
  5. Check the ergonomics of your workstation especially if you sit at it for long periods;
  6. Be aware of your posture and correct it where possible;
  7. Spring clean those handbags – carrying a heavy weight on one shoulder can be a trigger for headaches.

As well as these simple lifestyle modifications, alternative therapies such as acupuncture and osteopathy can also help to ease symptoms, especially for those who suffer recurring bouts of headaches.
Osteopathy is good for treating posture and neck tension headaches.  Acupuncture is tailored to the needs of the individual, so it is important that a thorough analysis of a symptoms is conducted to identify the appropriate course of treatment.

If you suffer from headaches, and would like to explore the possibility of a course of acupuncture then please contact me today 0208 313 0510 or 01689 858 068, and I will be happy to discuss this further.

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