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More Info on Headaches

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This article was written by Dr. Sarah Brise and recently published in Kamloops Momma Issue #17.

Headaches: Common Causes and Quick Fixes.

We all know how hard a New Year’s Resolution is to keep if you’re not feeling 100%. Unfortunately, lifestyle changes, work routine, or daily activities are all common causes or chronic or recurring headaches. Before you head to the medicine cabinet for painkillers, check out these common causes and try one (or a few!) quick fixes.

1. Dehydration – Many of us get so busy during the day that we forget this simple but very important step: DRINK WATER! Make sure you’re drinking at least 8 glasses per day, at regular intervals throughout the day.

2. Low Blood Sugar – Going right along with dehydration, do you get so busy that you forget to eat, or maybe go too long between meals? Make sure not to go longer than four hours between healthy meals or snacks. And junk food doesn’t help – a snack high in sugar can cause your blood sugar to spike, which in turn causes a blood sugar crash later on with a nasty headache to go with it.

3. Caffeine Withdrawal – Ok, maybe you’re trying to cut back on caffeine in the new year- good job! Headaches are normal as your body adjusts to the lack of caffeine, and they should subside in a week or two if you stick it out. You can try cutting back the caffeine gradually or switching to weakly steeped green or black tea to wean yourself off slowly and decrease withdrawal symptoms.

4. Change in diet/food craving – The New Year is a great time to break bad eating habits, and a popular route is to kick-start new healthy habits with some sort of nutritional “cleanse” that may cut out things like sugar, wheat, dairy, and processed foods. Any major or sudden change in diet can cause symptoms like nausea, headache, diarrhea, and low energy. Just like with cutting out caffeine, these symptoms can last 1-2 weeks. You can lessen these symptoms by making small changes to your diet over time.

5. Eye strain --- If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or reading, eye strain can cause headaches. Make sure to take a break from reading/screen time at least once every hour, and see your optometrist if you feel like you have to squint or strain in order to see properly.

6. Muscle tension – Stress causes muscle tension, which causes headaches, which causes more stress…… it’s a vicious cycle! Most people don’t realize that a lot of the time the muscle tension isn’t just contributing to your headache, it IS your headache! It sounds strange, but when your neck or upper back muscles are tight and strained it often causes your brain to interpret those pain signals as coming from your head. It’s often referred to as referred pain or trigger points. Taking time to stretch tight and sore muscles can help, as can regular exercise. If you still feel like your muscles are tight and sore, you may get headache relief from muscle or joint treatments: you can see a chiropractor, massage therapist, physiotherapist, or other health care practitioner.

7. Jaw (TMJ) problems – Jaw problems go hand in hand with muscle tension. Jaw clenching, grinding, or problems with bite causes muscle strain around the jaw and neck, which again can refer pain to the head. You should discuss jaw problems with your dentist. Also, manual therapists (example: chiropractor, massage therapist, physio) can also work on jaw muscles both inside and outside the mouth to relieve muscle tension.

8. PMS/Hormonal – These are larger issues that you may want to investigate if other approaches have not been helping. You may need to consult with a Naturopathic or Medical Physician.

On a final note, if you suffer from chronic or recurring headaches, you may get relief from manual therapy. Manual therapy consists of hands-on treatment of joints and/or muscles and includes: chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists. It’s important to work with your health care practitioner(s) to figure out the cause(s) of your headaches in order to plan appropriate treatment.

Dr. Sarah Brise is a chiropractor, kinesiologist, and certified Active Release Techniques ® (A.R.T.) provider at Kamloops Active Health.

NOTE: This article is for general information purposes only, and is NOT intended to replace the examination and advice of a Registered Health Care Provider.

 

Shoulder Pain and Injuries

Shoulder Pain Can Have Many Causes

Anyone can experience shoulder injuries, and many do. Whether competing in sports, having a physically demanding job or working around the house and yard these injuries cause pain and limit movement and function.

Grouped together, the major shoulder muscles are called the “rotator cuff”. These muscles perform most of the movements of your shoulder and if one muscle is injured you can experience localized pain, plus pain from the resulting limitation of shoulder movement.

Some common descriptions used by patients with shoulder injuries include: not being able to sleep on their side, pain with movements above shoulder height, pain with reaching or twisting the arm, or feeling like the arm is weak or unstable.

If you experience any of these symptoms, the chiropractors at Kamloops Active Health can help you. Through careful examination they diagnose your injury, treat the affected muscles and then put together a personalized rehabilitation program to restore strength, function, and movement.

Next time you experience shoulder pain call the chiropractors at Kamloops Active Health. Dr McCall and Dr Brise have both received training in ART®, a soft tissue technique that is ideal for treating many shoulder and rotator cuff injuries, and they have the rehabilitation knowledge to give you specific exercises to restore your shoulder’s function.

NOTE: This article is for general information purposes only, and is NOT intended to replace the examination and advice of a Registered Health Care Provider.

Headache

headache

Find Relief for Recurring Headaches

Headaches are an extremely common ailment. A lot of people suffer from recurring headaches, often experiencing headaches multiple times per week, sometimes as often as every day! Chiropractic treatment can help. Many headaches can be caused by tight and overworked musculature in the shoulders and neck, worsened by restrictions in the joints of your cervical or thoracic spine. Your chiropractor at Kamloops Active Health can relax those tight muscles with soft tissue therapy, and can release joint restriction with spinal adjustment or gentler techniques like joint mobilization.

Once muscle and joint tension are released, many people feel immediate relief. Part of your treatment may also include exercises and stretches to improve posture in order to reduce strain on the neck and shoulders. This can help prevent future headaches!

NOTE: This article is for general information purposes only, and is NOT intended to replace the examination and advice of a Registered Health Care Provider.