A headache (HA) is defined as a pain in the head due to a variety of different reasons. The intensity, location, and frequency of the HA varies greatly from person to person. Headaches are a very common complaint and are triggered from outside the brain tissue, since the brain lacks sensory nerves. Only certain areas of the head actually feel pain and these include the skin and tissues directly beneath the skin, the arteries, veins, cranial a nd cervical nerves. The traditional treatment for HA is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Often caffeine may be added to HA medication to increase the effect.
There are many factors that can create head pain. These include things such as food allergies/sensitivities, chemical/environmental allergies, stress/anxiety, hormonal imbalances, genetic predisposition, digestive issues, constipation, head trauma, intestinal dysbiosis, intestinal permeability, dental problems, smoking, spinal misalignment, impaired liver detoxification, eye strain, excess salt intake, poor diet/nutrient deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, anemia, hypertension, TMJ, weather changes, sinus congestion, etc. The list goes on...
Nervous system irritants can be a possible “trigger” for the HA. The triggers can be mechanical, (injury to the jaw or cranial bones), chemical (foods, additives, artificial colors/flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, hormones, etc.), immune system irritants (virus, bacteria, parasites, etc) or environmental (pollens, dust, molds, pesticides, heavy metals, etc.). Muscle testing offers a fast and inexpensive method of testing a wide variety of potential triggers, to help uncover possible connections. This information can provide a valuable starting point for elimination. If inflammation is involved, the underlying imbalances contributing to inflammation must be explored. The process of inflammation is multi-faceted. It involves liver function, fat metabolism, and increased production of reactive oxygen species, along with immune system activation/irritation. Fish oils can help with issues in Fat metabolism, platelet aggregation, and vasoconstriction. They provide a valuable therapeutic tool when working with HAs along with a number of useful herbs and minerals that aid in HA relief.
The cranium and the entire spine, particularly the upper neck will be evaluated for misalignment that may be contributing to the HA. The jaw and teeth should also be considered, as they refer pain to the face and head, and often can be gently manipulated or treated for injury to the gum line or jaw muscles. Other factors to consider include muscle tension points (trigger points) in the neck. These often provide immediate pain relief when involved.