No one can pinpoint exactly what causes migraines and headaches or why some people are more prone to experiencing them than others, but what we do know is that there are many factors which could potentially trigger them.
Causes of Cluster Headaches
Abnormalities in the region of the brain, known as the hypothalamus, are the cause of cluster headaches. What makes these headaches different than other types of headache is that they manifest like clockwork. Episodes generally occur in the same time of day and they typically follow the seasons of the year, making these very predictable. These headaches are mostly attributed to changes in the brain rather than changes in the environment or from how people handle stress.
Causes of Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are some of the most common types of headaches and they can affect anyone. These types of headaches frequently occur when the neck and scalp muscles become tense or tight. Additionally, people who have migraines are more likely to experience moderate or severe tension headaches. The increased sensitivity to pain resulting from the tension headaches, which might be caused by miscommunication between nerve pathways to the brain. A tension headache is usually triggered by something.
Tension Headache Triggers
- A head injury
- An illness, such as for example a sinus infection
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating foods with withdrawal symptoms or too much caffeine from a lack of caffeine
- Excessive smoking
- Clenching your jaw
- Grinding your teeth
- Overexertion (caused by intense physical activity, etc.)
- Poor posture
- Sitting or standing within an uncomfortable position for too long (eg, working at a desk, sewing)
- Sleeping with your neck in a abnormal position
- Straining your eyes (working at a computer, reading something with very small text, etc.)
Causes of Migraines
Both genetics along with the environment may be the most common cause of migraines. For example, if your mother experiences cases of chronic migraines, you may experience them as well. But in the case you don’t have a family history of migraines, then they may be caused by means of a variety of factors from changes in the weather to too much stress and not handling stress effectively. It’s possible that migraines may also be caused by imbalances in chemicals in the brain. The hormone serotonin helps nerves communicate with each other as well as helps regulate pain in the body. A lack of serotonin may causes a migraine, according to research studies.
- Certain foods, for example aged cheese and foods with aspartame (an artificial sweetener)
- Changes in your sleeping habits
- Eating foods that have caffeine (eg, coffee, chocolate)
- Extreme fatigue
- Grinding your teeth
- Hormonal changes and menstruation (in women)
- Poor sleeping habits, lack of sleep, or too much sleep
- Skipping meals
- Some medications, including oral contraceptives
In spite of the fact that the exact cause of migraines and headaches is unknown, avoiding the triggers mentioned above is certainly one of the best ways to try to prevent headaches and migraines. By avoiding the above mentioned triggers and understanding the causes, you are in a position to help reduce the amount of headaches or migraines you experience in the future.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Cervicogenic Headache and Chiropractic
Neck pain associated with whiplash-associated disorders resulting from an automobile accident are reportedly the most prevalent cause for discomfort along the cervical spine. The sheer force of an impact from a rear-end car crash or other traffic incident can cause injuries or aggravate a previously existing condition. While neck pain is commonly the result of damage to the complex structures of the neck, cervicogenic headaches may also result due to neck issues. Chiropractic care can help carefully restore the alignment of the cervical spine to relieve headaches and neck pain.
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The information herein on "Causes and Triggers of Headaches and Migraines" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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