Headaches

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Headaches - THEY ARE FIXABLE and can be treated!!! 

Regardless of whether you have a tension headache, migraine or any other variant, the causes can be very similar as are the treatments and ways to fix them.  With food and hydration, take your time and really look at your day to day intake and journal it if you really want to get to the root cause and fix it

    Causes

    • Sugar Intake --> Lower it! 
      • This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to help fight headaches.  Try to minimize all your sugar intake throughout the day
    • Processed Foods
      • By far the easiest way to help.  Foods that are processed even a little can act like an irritant to anyone who may have a sensitive stomach or digestive track 
      • Once food that irritates your body gets in  it can manifest itself into a headache pretty easily
    • Hydration: So important 
      • The rule is basically drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day
      • Adjust intake based on weather, humidity and your activity level
    • Stress and Anxiety
      • These are huge for most of us and what is worse is that all the things mentioned above are usually coping mechanisms for this situation and can lead to horrible chronic headaches
    • Sleep 
      • Sleep deprivation to be more specific.  Note that high stress and anxiety can lead to a lack of sleep, which will lead to poor food choices, which lead to a headache which can lead back to poor sleep and the cycle goes on and on and on 

    What to do?

    • ICE pack on the base of the neck/skull -- off and on for about 2 hours depending on severity
    • Adjust water intake 
    • Look at your food intake and take out as much sugar and processed foods as you can
      • It is truly worth it to make a journal of food, hydration and sleeping patterns for a bit until you can get it under control.  
    • Supplements: While I don't believe they should replace nutritious food, sometimes we need a little help. So look to see what you may be missing nutritionally and supplement where appropriate.
    Low Back Pain with Disc Involvement

    Symptoms

    • Pain, deep in the hip
    • Pins and needles down the leg, into the calf and/or foot and toes
    • Numbness in the lower leg, foot and/or toes
    • Weakness: you can not move your toes, walk on your heels or toes

    Causes

    • As above, when the disc becomes involved at this level there have been micro-traumas to the disc over the years and it is finally weakened enough to bulge, protrude or herniate into the nerve root space

    What to do?

    • Typically this one is an immediate spinal ortho referral, MRI to gauge severity and possible surgery depending on severity. NOT ALL DISC problems are surgical. Quite a few can be handled conservatively.
    Sciatica

    Symptoms

    • Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg
    • Usually only one side of the body is affected
    • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
    • Hip pain
    • Burning or tingling down the leg
    • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
    • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up

    Causes

    • Irritation of the nerve root of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine
    • Muscle spasms in the back or buttock
    • Sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone on your vertebrae.
    • True Sciatica is generally linked to disc involvement but not usually as intense as far as pain and nerve symptoms (loss of feeling and strength in the lower legs and feet)
    Piriformis syndrome

    Symptoms

    • Acute tenderness in the buttocks and sciatica-like pain down the back of the thigh, calf, and foot
    • Symptoms often become worse after prolonged sitting, walking, or running and may feel better after lying down on the back

    Causes

    • Lumbar herniated disc
    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Piriformis muscles runs from your lower spine to the top of your thigh bone. When this muscles presses on your sciatic nerve the pain is caused.

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