Headaches are a common complaint that patients at Focus Osteopathy report. These are often reoccurring afternoon headaches either at work, in the car or at home with the kids.
There are many causes of headaches from simple dietary causes through to more sinister causes. You should always have headaches checked by a health professional, be it an Osteopath, general practitioner, physiotherapist etc. The Osteopath’s at Focus Osteopathy are more than happy to discuss these with you.
Commonly, some headaches are thought to be a result of muscular tension, stress or fatigue. With some Osteopathic treatment it is possible to feel better and more in control.
So what can you do to avoid or reduce the occurrence of afternoon headaches?
For those niggly, annoying headaches that just seem to pop up in the afternoon there are some simple measures you can take to avoid, reduce or manage their occurrence:
- Drink plenty of water – Don’t forget to drink fluids, especially water, throughout the day to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can contribute to headaches and it can be very easy to go through the motions of a day, without stopping to sip any water.
- Take a break – Taking a couple of minutes every hour to close your eyes, move your head and neck and check your posture is very important, especially if you sit at a desk. The body likes to move so without regular breaks the muscles begin to tense up and can result in a headache. Correct, upright, seated posture with your knees below the height of your hips is also recommended. It is particularly important to give your eyes a rest when using a computer. Eye strain can result from long periods looking at a computer or reading due to the increased sensory input, also resulting in headaches.
- Eat something – Make sure you eat regular nutritious food. Low blood sugar due to skipping meals or reducing calorie intake commonly causes headaches
- Watch your caffeine intake – Headaches can be a result of drinking too much coffee then suddenly decreasing the amount of coffee consumed. Try and keep your caffeine intake to a maximum of 200mg a day – approximately 1-2 cups of brewed coffee per day. If you are trying to cut back do so over several days or weeks.
- Stretching – specific stretches, strengthening exercises and relaxation exercises such as lying on a rolled up towel, can assist to strengthen and release muscles. Have a chat with your Osteopath to find out what exercises might be suitable for you.
As there are many causes of headaches not all measures will work for everyone and is dependent on individual circumstances. A new pillow, some stretching advice or perhaps altering your working posture can all make a big difference to how you feel!