Headaches can vary from minor occasional annoyances to being severe and debilitating. Causes can vary as well. Being told you have headaches or migraines isn’t really a diagnosis. It is a symptom of some underlying issue or dysfunction. Since it is a symptom of a variety of different issues, there is no one treatment that is appropriate for all cases.
Once all issues that require urgent medical attention are ruled out (infection, stroke, malignancy, inflammatory, etc.), functional medicine and/or chiropractic care can be vital to finding out the cause and correcting any issues found. Let’s take a look at some of those possible causes.
A common cause of headaches is structural or physical and located within the regions at the base of the skull and the cervical spine. If these muscles and joints are tight or irritated, it can trigger pain that shoots into the head area and trigger a headache. Some people will notice pain in these areas as well, but some do not perceive any issues in the cervical region and therefore do not think to have this addressed. However, often by correcting problems in the cervical spine, the headache frequency and intensity is reduced or eliminated altogether.
Especially if other treatment interventions have failed and the cervical spine has not been addressed, a short course of chiropractic care is suggested to determine if it affects the headaches. For those that do not receive adequate relief through chiropractic care, a functional and lifestyle medicine approach is recommended.
Functional and Lifestyle Medicine Approach
A review of a person’s social habits and lifestyle can give clues as to potential causes of headaches. Lack of sleep, poor diet, excessive stress, poor posture, repetitive motions, poor sleeping positions, and dehydration can all trigger headaches.
A full assessment of these potential causes and many more is done as part of the functional medicine consultation. Modifying health damaging lifestyle habits is vitally important to each person’s care plan.
Underlying Root Causes
In addition to investigating a person’s daily habits, specialized testing can be done to identify any sub-optimal functions in the body as well as any nutrient deficiencies.
Here is a list of common underlying causes of headaches that can be exposed by testing.
- Nutrient deficiencies (especially omega 3’s, magnesium, vitamin D, B-vitamins)
- Chronic infections (abnormal gut bacteria, parasites, viral)
- Toxic exposure/poor detoxification (mold, chemical exposure, heavy metals)
- Hormone imbalance (thyroid, adrenal, sex hormones)
- Poor gut function leading to systemic inflammation(flora imbalance, leaky gut syndrome)
If you are suffering from headaches, schedule a consult today to find out more about our program. Our approach is simple. Modify lifestyle factors and test and address any issues that are interfering with the ability of your body to function optimally. Often when this is done, the body will heal itself and correct the dysfunction.