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Headaches and migraines can be debilitating, affecting productivity, mood, and overall quality of life. For individuals suffering from chronic migraines, finding lasting relief becomes a top priority. We understand the impact of migraines and believe in a holistic approach to healthcare. In this blog post, we will explore natural solutions from our Doctors of Chiropractic as well as research that has shown to help relieve chronic migraines, empowering you to live a pain-free life.
1. Identify Migraine Triggers
The first step in managing chronic migraines naturally is identifying your triggers.
Common triggers include certain foods (such as chocolate, aged cheeses, and processed meats), stress, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, bright lights, strong smells, or dehydration.
A study conducted by Hassan Kesserwan, Migraine Triggers: An Overview of the Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Atmospherics, and Their Effects on Neural Networks Monitoring, concluded that “Identifying and eliminating migraine triggers improve the quality of life of migraineurs.” Additionally, the study mentions common identifiers such as hormone changes in serotonin or estrogen levels, air pressure and even certain smells.
By keeping logging your headache patterns and triggers and tracking your activities and symptoms, you can better identify patterns and make informed lifestyle changes.
2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
We know this is a common phrase and you’ve probably heard it a thousand times. However, research has shown that leading a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
A study conducted by Mendinatou Agbetou and Thierry Adoukonou, Lifestyle Modifications for Migraine Management, showed that “lifestyle modifications and avoidance of triggers are essential in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. Managing obesity, alcohol, and tobacco consumption discontinuation, regular physical activity, sufficient hydration, and a healthy lifestyle are highly accessible and cost-efficient interventions for any patient with migraine.”
Focus on getting regular exercise, adequate sleep, and managing stress through techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga. These practices promote overall well-being and help prevent migraines.
Try to incorporate a series of stretches like these into your routine 30 minutes to an hour before bed to help with sleep.
3. Fix Your Posture
Poor posture can contribute to muscle tension and imbalances, leading to migraines.
The American Migraine Foundation says that “Poor posture and long periods of inactivity can contribute to an increase in migraine frequency.” Focusing on proper posture throughout the day, as well as staying active, will help in decreasing the frequency of migraines.
From a Chiropractic standpoint, improving your posture can alleviate the strain on the neck and upper back, reducing ot only the frequency and intensity of migraines but also the degeneration of the vertebral discs and long-term health of your spine and nervous system.
Here are 3 easy things to ask yourself for a quick posture assessment:
- Are my shoulders coming forward?
- Try This: Roll your shoulders back a few times to loosen the muscles then keep them rolled back.
- Am I leaning to one side?
- Try This: Instead of crossing your legs, or leaning to one side for long periods of time, try shifting your weight often. Or use a lumbar pillow and/or arm rests to give you additional support.
- Am I engaging my core?
- Try This: We don’t mean suck it in all the time, but we do mean creating a light tension in your abdomen to engage your core muscles for support. Try sitting on a yoga ball or a stool without leaning on something and your core will automatically be engaged to maintain balance and spinal support. Take rest breaks but try to practice this often.
- Try This: Another way to engage your core is by diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing. Instead of breathing shallow breaths expanding your chest, try expanding your whole core with each inhale.
4. Ergonomic Assessments
Improper ergonomics, whether at work or during daily activities, can strain the neck and upper back, leading to migraines and other ailments.
Identifying potential problem areas such as your driving position/posture, how your desk is set up, how you sleep or sit on the couch or even how you stand.
Here are a few of our favorite ergonomic tips that anyone can apply to their daily life:
- Maintain Proper Posture:
- Sit with your back against the chair’s backrest, feet flat on the floor or on a footrest, and knees at or slightly below hip level.
- Keep your computer monitor or television at eye level.
- Stand tall with relaxed shoulders, avoid slouching or hunching forward and avoid crossing your legs.
- Take Regular Breaks and Move:
- Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes.
- Incorporate short walks or light exercises during breaks.
- Avoid sitting for long periods in general.
- If you work at a desk all day, here are some exercises you can do right at your desk to stay active.
- Optimize Workspace Setup:
- Position your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable height, allowing for relaxed arm and wrist positioning.
- Use an ergonomic chair with lumbar support.
- Keep frequently used items within easy reach to minimize reaching or straining.
- Here are some of our Chiropractors favorite ergonomic desk essentials.
By optimizing ergonomics, you can reduce the risk of migraines caused by poor posture and repetitive stress.
5. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits & Hydration
Certain foods and beverages can trigger migraines in susceptible individuals.
Keep a close eye on your eating habits and consider reducing potential triggers, such as processed foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, and foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG).
If safe for your dietary needs/restrictions, our docs love to incorporate magnesium-rich foods like spinach, nuts, seeds, and avocados into your diet, as magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraines.
Dehydration is also a common trigger for headaches, so it is crucial to drink enough water throughout the day. Aim
6. See A Chiropractor to Help Reduce Migraines
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective option for managing chronic migraines.
Chiropractors use gentle adjustments to help mobilize the joints, relieving pressure on nerves and reducing tension in the muscles. In addition, a chiropractor should also provide rehabilitative exercises to strengthen your muscles to stabilize and support your spine and joints.
Get Treated at Kaizo Health
Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free. We also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance.
We want to make sure you get the most from your benefits. You should experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now. Our doctors an evidence-based approach by combining chiropractic care and rehabilitative exercises.
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We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health. We are here to help!
Interested Chiropractic care but not sure if it’s right for you?
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