Lifestyle Habits That Could Be Contributing to Your Chronic Headaches

Most people experience a headache at some point in their lives, but those who get headaches 15 or more days each month for six months are considered to have chronic headaches. At Northview Medical in Cheyenne, Wyoming, our experienced, integrative healthcare team treats people with chronic headaches with chiropractic care, massage therapy, or nerve blocks.

In addition to the comprehensive care you’ll receive at our center, there are lifestyle choices you can make to lessen the frequency and severity of your headaches. Try some of these ideas to see if they help you have less headache days each month.

Stay hydrated

When you’re dehydrated, your brain temporarily contracts from not having enough fluid. This causes a headache. To avoid this, drink at least four-to-six glasses of water per day. If you get headaches after exercise, or after playing sports, you may need to rehydrate with an electrolyte drink.

Get moving

Exercising regularly helps improve your heart function and blood pressure. You may even lose a few pounds, which puts less stress on your body.   

Manage stress

Reducing stress is great for your overall health. Practice deep breathing exercises, take a walk to clear your head, do yoga, get a massage, or talk to a trusted friend. Lowering stress can help ease tension headaches.

Develop better sleep habits

Sleeping between seven and nine hours a night helps your immune system stay strong, and helps you handle stress better. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day to help your body function at its best. Also, sleep in a dark, cool room for the best chance of a good night’s sleep.

Take pain medication wisely

If you take over-the-counter pain medication more than a few times a week, you could have rebound headaches that come back as the medicine wears off, which prompt you to take more pills. Try to lessen your dependence on them by reducing stress, drinking more fluids, and getting better sleep.

Avoid headache triggers

Certain foods, additives, and drinks can trigger headaches. Keep a food diary to figure out your triggers and try to avoid them. Some of the most common triggers are alcohol, chocolate, processed foods, monosodium glutamate (MSG), nuts, caffeine, processed meats like hot dogs and lunch meat, and aged cheeses. 

People who depend on caffeine can also have withdrawal headaches if they don’t get enough caffeine within a certain timeframe. If this sounds like you, try to lower your daily caffeine intake to one eight-ounce cup of coffee or tea per day.

Improve your posture

We’ll teach you proper posture techniques that you can practice at home. Remember to bring your shoulders back and down, and to keep your spine straight. Maintaining your posture and taking time to stretch and move around during the workday can help relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and jaw.

If you suffer from chronic headaches, make an appointment to see one of our integrative healthcare specialists at Northview Medical in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Our comprehensive approach, combined with these tweaks, could help you have less headache days each month so you can feel better and enjoy life again. Call 307-215-1060 today. 

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