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Understanding Migraines and Chronic Headaches, Treatment and How Matrix Health & Performance Can Help

Hello, I'm Dr Annie Xanthos (Osteopath) from Matrix Health & Performance in East Ivanhoe. If you're struggling with chronic headaches or migraines, you're not alone. Many people suffer from these debilitating conditions! At our clinic, we offer comprehensive osteopathic treatments to help you find relief. In this blog, I'll answer the top 10 questions we often hear from our patients about migraines and chronic headaches.

A picture of migraine treatment

1. What causes my migraines and chronic headaches?


Migraines and chronic headaches can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental triggers, and underlying health issues. Common causes include stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, and poor posture. Understanding the root cause of your headaches is crucial for effective treatment.


2. What are the most common triggers for migraines?


Common migraine triggers include:

  • Stress

  • Certain foods (e.g., chocolate, caffeine, processed foods)

  • Hormonal changes (e.g., menstrual cycle, pregnancy)

  • Environmental factors (e.g., bright lights, strong smells)

  • Lack of sleep

  • Dehydration

Identifying your specific triggers can help you manage and reduce the frequency of your migraines.


3. How can I identify my specific headache or migraine triggers?


Keeping a headache diary is a great way to identify your triggers. Note down the time, duration, and intensity of your headaches, along with any potential triggers (foods, stress levels, activities) you experienced that day. Over time, patterns may emerge, helping you pinpoint the causes of your headaches.


4. What lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency of my headaches?


Several lifestyle changes can help manage and reduce the frequency of headaches:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

  • Eat a balanced diet and avoid known trigger foods.

  • Exercise regularly to promote overall health and well-being.


5. Are there certain foods I should avoid to prevent migraines?


Yes, some foods are known to trigger migraines in many people. Common culprits include:

  • Caffeine

  • Alcohol (especially red wine)

  • Chocolate

  • Aged cheeses

  • Processed foods containing nitrates or MSG

  • Artificial sweeteners


Avoiding these foods or consuming them in moderation can help reduce the likelihood of migraines.


6. What are the best dietary choices to help manage my headaches and treat my migraines?


Incorporate a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Foods high in magnesium (like spinach, almonds, and avocados) and riboflavin (found in eggs, milk, and nuts) have been shown to help reduce the frequency of migraines.


7. How does stress contribute to my headaches, and how can I manage it?


Stress is a significant trigger for many headache sufferers. It can cause muscle tension, hormonal changes, and increased sensitivity to pain. Managing stress through regular exercise, mindfulness practices, and ensuring you have time to relax and unwind can significantly reduce headache frequency.


8. What are the most effective non-prescription treatments for migraines?


Non-prescription treatments for migraines include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers (e.g., ibuprofen, aspirin)

  • Cold or warm compresses on the forehead or neck

  • Relaxation techniques and stress management

  • Hydration and rest

  • Gentle exercise and stretching


These methods can provide relief and help manage the symptoms of migraines.


9. What prescription medications are available for chronic migraines, and what are their side effects?


Several prescription medications can help prevent or treat migraines, including:

  • Triptans: Often used to stop a migraine once it starts.

  • Beta-blockers: Commonly used to prevent migraines.

  • Antidepressants: Can help reduce the frequency of migraines.

  • Anti-seizure medications: Sometimes prescribed for migraine prevention.


Each medication comes with potential side effects, so it's essential to discuss these with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you.


10. How can osteopathy migraine treatment help alleviate my chronic headaches?


Osteopathy can be highly effective in treating chronic headaches and migraines. At Matrix Health & Performance, we use a variety of techniques, including:

  • Soft tissue manipulatio


  • n to reduce muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.

  • Postural assessments and corrections to alleviate stress on the musculoskeletal system.

  • Personalized treatment plans tailored to your specific needs and triggers.

  • Corrective exercises to help reduce muscle tension and address postural imbalances


Our holistic approach aims to address the root causes of your headaches, providing long-term relief and improving your overall quality of life.


Conclusion


If you're dealing with chronic headaches or migraines, there's no need to suffer in silence. We're dedicated to helping you find effective, lasting relief. Schedule a consultation with us today and take the first step towards a headache-free life.


For more information and to book an appointment, visit our website or call us at (03) 9372 0460.

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