Taking the Headache Out of the New Year

Do you ever get tension headaches? If so, you’re probably getting a lot of them right about now! Even holidays like Valentine's Day can be stressful.

If you’re working in an industry that manages Valentine's Day for the public, your headaches might be increasing. Here’s why you should look into a Chattanooga, TN chiropractor visit ASAP.

What Causes Tension Headaches

The interesting fact of the matter is that the exact source of tension headaches isn’t known. You’d think it would be pretty straightforward—when you get tense from stress, the muscles in your neck and shoulders contract, cutting off blood supply to muscles in the head. But according to Mayo Clinic, research suggests that muscle contractions aren’t the cause.

We do know what triggers them, though. Mayo Clinic suggests stress is the biggest hitter. This British health website lists other common tension headache triggers as anxiety, squinting, poor posture, dehydration, skipping meals, bright lights, loud sounds, and certain smells. You may also find that you get a headache if you wear a headband too long or wear your hair up in a bun all day.

During winter in Chattanooga, the most common trigger is still probably stress. For anyone working in retail or dealing with the public in early February, the pressure to get purchases out the door to please customers can bring on a headache more than once a day.

What an Adjustment Does

Chiropractic is good for treating tension headaches without adding medication to your bloodstream or calling for an invasive procedure. It can be a reliable place to turn if you don’t like popping ibuprofen or are having a hard time getting rid of them on your own.

In an adjustment, the bones in your spine are aligned correctly. When this occurs, the muscles in your back that were compensating for an off-balance back can be released from their tension, leading to release of tension all over the body. Makes sense that it would affect the muscles in your neck and shoulders that are contributing to a tension headache, doesn’t it? This chiropractic article goes into depth about how chiropractic care works with your body to relieve headaches.

How to Keep Tension Headaches Away

Any Chattanooga, TN chiropractor will tell you that there are a few tried-and-true ways to avoid getting tension headaches. One answer is simply put: to avoid your triggers. But there are other tips to steer your lifestyle away from the triggers.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers a few easy tips.

  • For one thing, if your work demands that you sit in the same position for long periods of time, it’s time to start moving. Take frequent breaks (every 30 or 60 minutes) to move around and stretch if you sit in front of a computer all day, work at a sewing machine or other table-based trade, or need to sit and read a lot. Stretches like these on breaks will help keep your blood circulating.
  • If you feel a headache coming on, a low-impact aerobic exercise like walking or swimming will often help.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration.
  • Don’t clench your teeth. Your teeth should never actually touch unless you are swallowing. Clenching your teeth places tension on the muscles surrounding your TMJ joint, leading to TMJ irritation and tension headaches.

Once you learn how to avoid triggers by maintaining a lifestyle that keeps muscles from remaining tense, you will probably find that your tension headaches decrease in frequency. But remember, a Chattanooga, TN chiropractor is always available to help your body relax, too.

Have you ever seen a chiropractor during a holiday?

Chiropractors in Chattanooga do usually see an influx of patients around the new year, for many more reasons than just tension headaches. But that doesn’t rule out the beginning of the year as the perfect time to start seeing a chiropractor in Chattanooga! Try one out today if you have repeated tension headaches.

Have you ever seen a chiropractor for tension headaches? Or been to one during a holiday? We want to know your story, so leave us a comment right now!

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