Health and Fitness: Headaches Migraines Article Category
Everyone gets a headache at some point in his or her life but dealing with chronic headaches can be a very stressful and debilitating condition. Caused by so many different things, it can be difficult to determine the exact source, making curing them nearly impossible in some cases. Symptoms and activities before, during and after such an attack are at times the only way to determine their cause, effect and treatment.
Chronic headaches can be caused by certain behavior or actions that allow stress to tighten the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back, leading to stress headaches developing. These will occur every time the stressful situation occurs, becoming almost psychological in its frequency and intensity. Being around certain foods or chemicals can cause headaches for hours afterwards, with the patient never realizing that their presence was the cause. Testing for allergies would then be the first step to treat that type of headache.
Physical ailments can also have headaches as its main symptom, as well as its potential cause. Someone that has suffered an injury to an arm or leg can begin to unconsciously tailor their movements so that they avoid triggering any pain associated with that injury and in doing so, put added stress onto joints and muscles while compensating that normally would not have happened. This can lead to spinal maladjustment or a pinched nerve, resulting in severe cervical pain and headaches from the physical stress.
People known to abuse substances like alcohol and drugs will often develop severe headaches when they try to abstain, because the chemical they have become dependent on are no longer present, causing the body to feel as if it is starving, with headaches becoming the prevalent symptom.
A continuing problem when it comes to diagnosing headaches is treating it with pain medications without uncovering the true source of the pain. This can lead to too much dependence on the medication, without having any true effect of the condition. One way to avoid misdiagnosis is for the patient to keep a headache journal during treatment, so that the doctor can see everything that occurred in their lives before the attack, how long it lasted and what the patient did immediately afterwards that did not bring on another attack. This can be especially helpful when the headache is actually brought on by what can be termed allergic triggers or when something within their regular routines may be contributing to their illness, like stress or psychological traumas.
The only effective treatments for chronic headaches will be those that eliminate or solve the root cause of the problem. For stressful situations that bring on headaches, relaxation techniques, for example, will have more of an effect on the headache than prescribed medication. Lifestyle changes can make allergy based headaches a thing of the past, while chiropractic treatments will remove the physical condition causing the headache to occur. At its heart, the only true treatment for this condition is honest dialogue between doctor and patient.