Most people will be affected by a headache at some point in their lives. Some get them every couple of months, while others get them once a week, or even several times a week. Even though it is common for people to get headaches, that does not mean that headaches are normal.
A headache can be caused by a number of factors including fatigue, dehydration, stress and/or a misalignment in the upper part of the spine, which can result in a cervicogenic headache. If a headache is addressed quickly and is caused by fatigue or dehydration, a simple remedy of rest and hydration will correct the problem. If your headache stems from a misalignment in the spine, then neck stretches, massage, ice/heat therapy, and chiropractic care are recommended to alleviate your pain.
If your headache is untreated or gets severe enough, it can rise to the level of a migraine. Migraines affect 38 million people a year and can cost the sufferer several days, or even weeks, of sick time at work.
Unfortunately, headaches are on the rise because of poor postural habits and time spent using cellphones and computers. Constantly looking down at a cellphone, tablet, or computer for an extended period can cause additional and unnecessary stress on your neck and spine. Much like holding a bicep curl while lifting weights, your neck is holding your head upright. Looking down at these devices places your head at an unnatural position, causing additional strain and irritation of the muscles and nerves in your neck. All of this amounts to unwanted stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments in your neck, causing pain in the form of a headache.
What should you do? First, count the number of headaches you get and note when they occur. Knowing the frequency and patterns of your headaches can help determine the cause. Do your headaches develop at the end of the day when you are exhausted from work? Do they arise after a conflict with family or friends? Are they related to sitting at a desk or doing repetitive tasks throughout the day? Headaches do not magically appear. Something sets them off. Knowing the frequency and cause will help you and your doctor manage and treat your headaches.