Most of us have experienced the throbbing, distracting pain of a headache that makes you want to retreat into a quiet, dark room in hopes of finding some relief. Suffering from occasional, mild headaches can be a normal part of life, but if you are someone who suffers from chronic headaches then there might be some deeper issues at play.

7 Reasons Why Your Headache Won’t Go Away:

1. TMJ Disorders: Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorders can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control your jaw movement.

Misalignment of the TMJ joint and teeth grinding, which is commonly associated with TMJ, can cause your temporalis, medial and lateral pterygoids, and frontalis muscles to spasm causing severe headaches.

Osteopathic manipulation, craniosacral therapy, dry needling, acupuncture, bite guards, injections, and physical therapy are all safe, effective, and beneficial in the treatment of TMJ disorders.

2. Neck Spasms: Did you know that the average American spends a minimum of 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to, or simply interacting with media in any given day?

Spending so much time staring at a screen can wreak havoc on your neck, spine, and surrounding muscles such as the suboccipitals, levator scapulae, scalene muscles, and sternocleidomastoid. This can lead to chronic and severe headaches.

Osteopathic Manipulation, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, acupuncture, and gua sha can all help relieve symptoms and help you get back into proper alignment.

3. Poor Shoulder Alignment: Unfortunately, most people have poor posture and as a result, their shoulders protrude too far forward and lack proper range of motion. Because of the way the fascia, muscles, and joints interact this can also cause headaches. Additionally, having tight pectoral major and pectoral minor muscles can adversely affect the neck and clavicle can also cause headaches.

This article has some great ways to help you get your shoulders back into alignment. You can also use a massage ball to release the muscles. Be sure to always warm up your shoulders before working out and stretch afterwards!

4. Hormones: Hormone fluctuations are a common cause of headaches. In females, if your progesterone is too low or high or if your estrogen is too low this can cause headaches. In males, low testosterone can cause headaches.  

Furthermore, abnormalities in your thyroid hormones, cortisol, growth hormones, and insulin can all be contributing factors.

It’s important to have your doctor check these levels to see if they are the reason behind your chronic headaches.

5. Gut health: Yes, poor gut health can also cause headaches! Because of a connection between the vagal nerve and the gut, inflammation from SIBO, candidiasis, or diet related issues can all cause headaches and brain fog.

Eating a diet rich in fermented foods, supplementing with a high-quality probiotic, and making sure to get plenty of movement throughout the day and sleep at night can all improve your gut health and reduce the occurrence of headaches.

This article has a list of scientifically proven ways to improve your gut bacteria.

6. Gluten: People who are sensitive to or allergic to gluten can also suffer from headaches and brain fog. This is likely due to autoimmune mechanisms and increased inflammation.  

Cutting gluten out of your diet or taking gluten binders can help if you think your headaches might be a result of a gluten intolerance.

7. Infections/Chronic Illness: Lyme Disease and other tick born illnesses, parasitic infections, fibromyalgia, mast cell activation syndrome, and quinolone toxicity can also cause chronic headaches.

If you think that you may be suffering from any of these conditions, talk to your doctor about your concerns so that you can start getting the treatment you need.

There are numerous other factors that can cause chronic headaches, including stress, lack of sleep, toxins, eye strain, having poor alignment, and having low back pain.

I work with patients who have been struggling with some of these issues for years and make it a priority to find the root cause of what is prompting their symptoms. I use a blend of conventional and alternative treatments to give you the best possible outcome and on your way to living a healthy and wholesome life. If you’re interested in learning more, you can book an appointment with me today!

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