What Puts The “Ache” in the Headache?
Headaches are one of the most common health complaints; after all, almost everybody has experienced a headache in their lives. It is estimated that for about 20% of us that are under a “stress overload”, the headaches are chronic and recurrent. What causes headache? For the most part, headaches are a result of a biochemical stress (such as caffeine withdrawal), psychological stress (such as being too self-critical) or a physical stress (like muscle tension) that the body has been unable to properly adapt to. Surprisingly, a headache is not a brain ache. The pain of sensitive structures of the head is the culprits.
Are Headaches A Normal Part of Life?
Because headaches are so common, many people believe that getting a headache is a normal part of life. Often while doing a case history and asking about headaches we hear patients say “Oh, I just get ordinary morning headaches.” Ordinary? Headaches are usually a sign that something is wrong. But what do most people do when they have a headache? They take pills. We buy an estimated £530 million worth of painkillers in the UK each year. (1)These drugs, apart from their many side effects, treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause of the headache.
What Causes Headaches?
While stress, certain foods and alcohol may be culprits, a frequent overlooked cause of headaches may be the misalignment and malfunction of spinal bones and nerves in the upper neck. What does a bone out of place have to do with headaches? When spinal nerves and associated structures are compressed, stretched or otherwise irritated, they can produce abnormal body function with headaches, a common effect of that abnormal, stress induced state. While over the counter drugs may cover up these warning signs that the body is malfunctioning, they do nothing to correct the underlying cause of the headache or the associated bodily malfunction. Neither stress nor headaches are caused by having too little aspirin in your blood.