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Chiropractic and Headaches in Women

Woman with aching headBy Dr. Alison Bremner

Did you know that 18% of women in the United States suffer from migraines,
while only 6% of men do?

Over one half of women suffer from tension headaches, while only one third
of men do.

After hearing these statistics, it is clear that migraines and tension headaches are a lot more common in women than in men. Why is that?

Estrogen and Stress

One of the main reasons why women suffer more than men from migraines and tension headaches is because of estrogen. Fluctuation in estrogen can trigger a sympathetic-dominant response in your body. This means that if you have a lot of fluctuation in the estrogen in your body, your nervous system is leaning towards a more stressed and sympathetic-state. Being in this stressful state, rather than in a relaxed rest-or-digest state, leads to more headaches and migraines. Just like pain, a headache is a signal to your body that something is wrong. While medication may be effective in short-term relief from a headache or migraine, it is not a long-term solution. Until the underlying cause of the increased stress is managed,
the symptoms will always continue.

Things To Avoid If You Have Headaches

  • Getting too little sleep
  • Alcoholic beverages, especially red wine
  • Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Unnecessary stress
  • Sedentary lifestyle (not enough movement)
  • Processed meats, hard sausages, and smoked fish
  • Intense lights, sounds, or smell
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Aged cheeses
  • Soy products
  • Artificial sweeteners

Stress Literally Makes You Sick

Stress is the main factor that causes dis-ease in the body. There are 3 types of stress that our bodies have to deal with on a daily basis: physical stress, emotional stress, and chemical stress. Most people deal with all three of these. When your body can not adapt to these stresses, you end up with a symptom. This could be pain or some other dysfunction in your body. This is why medication is so ineffective when it comes to solving a chronic health issue like headaches! The medication merely covers up the symptom instead of fixing the root cause. In most cases, the root cause is that your body is not functioning properly and therefore it’s not able to adapt to the stressors. If you want to truly solve the headaches, you have to get to the root cause of the dysfunction which is often stress.

Things You Can Do Yourself To Help Your Body Heal

Meditation – Meditation has been proven to bring your body into a relaxed, parasympathetic state. Practicing meditation as a part of your daily routine can dramatically improve your ability to handle and manage stress without feeling overwhelmed.

Exercise – Exercise is another thing that can absolutely help you manage your stress and your headaches. By putting your body through cardiovascular or resistance training, you are teaching it how to handle stress. Consistent exercise is essential.

Drink water – Committing to drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water is almost guaranteed to help your body handle stress. All systems and processes in your body require water, so it’s just as important as putting gas in your car or oil in your engine.

Eat whole foods – Nutrient-dense foods will fuel your body in a way that allows it to manage stress and adapt in demanding situations. If you are struggling to manage your stress and you’re constantly eating take-out or processed foods, this is an important change for you to make.

If you have tried all of those things with little or no result, chiropractic would be an excellent next step!

Chiropractic To Manage Stress

Chiropractic care is very effective in alleviating tension headaches and migraines. This is because the chiropractic adjustment triggers parasympathetic stimulation in the body, which basically means that it gives it bursts of relaxation and ease. After consistent chiropractic adjustments, people often find that their stress levels, headaches, and migraines dramatically reduce. Maintaining regular visits will ensure that the nervous system stays balanced and does not have further stress-induced pain. Chiropractic adjustments are very safe and very effective, so it’s important to contact your local chiropractor for headache and migraine relief instead of reaching for the medicine or pills.

Learn more about Dr. Alison Bremner here!

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