April 29, 2020

Common Causes of Headaches and a Few Fixes

heachaches. African American man holding his forehead in hand experiencing a headache

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? Well, that sure if fitting given the current worldwide pandemic situation. Even without this added stress, most people experiences headaches from time to time for different reasons, including stress and tension. Sometimes we know why we have a heachache. It could be from drinking too much alcohol, working too much, squinting at a screen for too long, etc. Other times we aren’t so sure why we are experiencing tension and pain in our head.

We’ve listed below some common, and not so common, reasons why people get headaches and what you can do to alleviate the pain.

Chiropractic adjustments can really help with headaches, especially if the headache is caused by your back and neck being out of alignment. Many patients experience almost immediate headache relief following an adjustment. It’s like magic!

Chiropractic care addresses all of your body systems and zones, so even if a misalignment of the neck isn’t the issue, we can most likely help in other areas of your body. And, being adjusted regularly certainly won’t hurt your health, it will only improve it.

Common Causes of Headaches

The three most common types of headaches are sinus, tension, and migraine headaches, so let’s discuss those first.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches generally occur if you have an infection or pressure in your sinuses. This could be due to a cold, illness, or seasonal allergies. The best natural remedies for sinus headaches include:

  • Saline nasal spray can relieve some of the pressure and you can make your own at home.

  • Neti pot

  • Steam inhalation

  • Acupressure

  • Hydration

  • Warm washcloth compression

  • Essential oils

  • Rest and relax

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are caused by prolonged or acute tension and stress. The best thing you can do is try to reduce or eliminate the immediate stress, but we know you can’t always do this. We are going to discuss some natural things you can do here. However, chronic and/or recurring headaches often need to be evaluated by a medical professional who can provide additional help. For more information on this please visit the Mayo Clinic website.

Natural ways to eliminate tension headaches might include:

  • Rest and relax

  • Deep breathing and meditation

  • Gentle stretching

  • Ice pack or heat

  • Hot shower

  • Massage therapy

  • Improve your posture

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are severe headaches that according to the Mayo Clinic, cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.

There are many causes of migraines and it is important that you see your doctor if you are experiencing debilitating headaches that interfere with your daily life and normal activity.

The natural remedy for severe migraine headaches is similar to tension headaches. Many people find they need to lay down in quiet and dark room and try to sleep.

Additional Causes of Headaches to Consider

Changing Eyesight

If you are squinting to read, watch TV, see the board in class, or when you are driving, it may be time to visit your eye doctor. Eye strain due to changes in vision and not wearing the proper eyewear can cause headaches. If you are experiencing headaches toward the end of your work day or after prolonged computer use, this may be the cause.

Caffeine or Sugar Withdrawal

Discontinued use of many substances can cause temporary headaches as your body detoxes. Lack of caffeine or sugar the two of the most common. You could experience headache in the afternoon if you skipped your morning coffee routine. If you are eating healthier and cutting out processed sugar, you may experience a slight headache for a day or two, but it will go away. Any type of detox program will probably be accompanied by a headache. Usually you can alleviate some, of not all. of the discomfort by staying properly hydrated.

Weather Changes

Abrupt temperature and pressure changes in the weather can bring on headaches, too. We have been experiencing a lot that in Spring in Michigan. This is temporary and typically doesn’t last long.


Simply being really really tired can cause a headache, similar to a tension headache. The best cure is sleep and rest.


Are you hungry? This can also cause a headache which should subside pretty quickly once you start eating something. Eating regularly should prevent you from getting hangry.

Headaches: The Wrap Up

The first step to eliminating a headache is determining the cause of the pain. Hopefully this list has helped you narrow it down and now you have some things to try. Stay hydrated, eat regularly, get proper sleep, and visit your chiropractor for tune-ups.

To find more about Dr. Ryan and Dr. Allyson more and their chiropractic practice and philosophy, click here.

To make an appointment please call (517) 781-4884