Have you ever had that excruciating pain that radiates through what seems to be every part of your head or just a dull throbbing pain that seems like it will just not go away? You might just brush that late afternoon headache and say “well, everyone gets them so it must be normal.” Do not get caught in that trap! While headaches are common, they are definitely not normal! Let’s see if we can understand a little bit more why we experience headaches and some ways that we can prevent them. Common Types of Headaches: - Tension Headaches: Muscle tension in the head, neck, or shoulders as a result of emotional stress can cause these headaches. When muscles fail to relax, they can become constant. - Migraine Headaches: Migraines can be triggered by many factors including stress, hormonal changes, weather, smoke, certain foods, and even wine. They also tend to be more common in women than in men. - Cervicogenic Headaches: These headaches frequently cause pain in the forehead and behind the eyes. They are often a result of whiplash, poor posture, and functional or structural changes. Prevention: - Avoid Headache Triggers: you are probably wondering, how am I supposed to know what types of things trigger my headaches? We suggest that you keep a headache diary so when you have a headache you can record when and where you get them and in the future avoid those specific triggers. No, this does not mean that you can avoid your kids. - Get Enough Sleep: No, four hours of sleep is not enough! Getting a good night’s rest will help relieve your headaches. An average adult needs about eight hours of sleep every night. - Don’t Skip Meals: You might think that you are too busy to grab breakfast on the way out the door to work every morning, however, eating healthy meals throughout the day can help you avoid headaches. - Exercise Regularly: Now you are thinking we are crazy making you actually fulfill your New Year’s Resolution, but exercise can improve your physical and mental well-being and reduce stress. Do something you enjoy! Exercise does not necessarily mean that you are at the gym pumping the iron, try going for a daily walk on your favorite trail or playing pickleball with your friend who you promised weeks ago that you would. - Reduce Stress: Stress is a common trigger for headaches. Sometimes we are not able to avoid all of the things that make us stressed, but there are ways we can reduce the stress that we accumulate everyday. Try meditation or yoga and you will find that not only is your headache gone, but you will be able to think more clearly. Chiropractic Care: Lots of people think of Chiropractors as the doctors that just make your joints go pop, but Chiropractic care can actually find and heal the underlying spinal issues people might be experiencing that are causing headaches. This can include loss of the proper cervical curve, slight misalignments, or even the effects of spinal decay.