If you suffer from chronic headaches, your lifestyle habits might contribute. Chronic headaches can stem from diet, sleep patterns, alcohol and tobacco, and even your posture. In many cases, chronic headaches and pain have a neurological component.
At The Spine and Sports Center at The Galleria in Houston, Sugar Land, and the Willowbrook/Cy-Fair area of Texas, Dr. Ed Benny can help you identify your headache triggers and suggest lifestyle changes to mitigate chronic headache pain. He can also treat migraines that have a neurological connection or cause.
Tracking your headaches
Keeping a journal of your lifestyle habits can help you identify patterns in your day-to-day routines that could be contributing factors. This can help you pinpoint triggers that cause your chronic headaches. Note things like:
- What time you go to bed and get up
- Your meals and mealtimes all day
- What the weather is like
- What kind of stress you’re under
- What medications or supplements you take and at what time
- When your headaches start and stop
- How much time you spend reading or at a desk (note your posture)
If you start to see patterns emerge, you can begin making lifestyle changes that cut down on your chronic headaches.
Interrupted or poor sleep can lead to headaches. If you don’t have a regular sleep schedule, your deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep can be disrupted, causing you to have chronic morning headaches.
Many foods can trigger migraines and if you don’t know which foods are triggering you, this could cause your headaches to seem chronic and without a cause. Keeping a diary of your meals and how they match up to migraines might reveal you’re having a reaction to any of the following:
- Citrus fruits or tomatoes
- Certain cheese or cultured dairy products like yogurt
- Nuts and nut butters
Often, limiting or cutting out these foods can keep your headaches from recurring.
Alcohol or tobacco consumption
Alcohol and tobacco use are common triggers for many people. Red wine is a frequent culprit, especially if it’s high in tannins. Consider switching to a low tannin wine if you find a pattern linking your chronic headaches to red wine.
Tension headaches can also be caused by your posture. If you’re tense, sit at a desk all day, work in retail or hospitality jobs, or are glued to your phone, you could be creating bad posture habits. Adjusting the position of your spine or neck could help stop headaches and alleviate tension and pain.
If you have chronic headaches, call our nearest location for an appointment or book a consultation online today.