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Unhealthy Lifestyle Linked to Headaches in Teens

Unhealthy Lifestyle Linked to Headaches in Teens

Most teens experience headaches at some point and many will suffer the debilitating impact of persistent headaches or migraines. Chronic headaches can prevent teens from engaging fully in school, work, and extracurricular activities. Yet little was known about what triggers headaches in teens until now.

A recent study indicated several lifestyle habits associated with migraine and tension headaches in teens. Researchers asked 1, 260 adolescents to fill out a survey on whether they had headaches and if so, the duration and type of headaches they experienced. Participants also responded to questions about their diet and lifestyle including:  their physical activity, consumption of alcoholic, nonalcoholic, and coffee beverages, eating patterns, and whether they smoked.

Nearly half of the teen surveyed had tension headaches, 10% had migraines, and 20% had a combination of the two.  A considerable amount of participants had unhealthy lifestyle habits like drinking, alcohol and skipping meals. However, 75% had never smoked and 43% didn’t drink coffee.

Researchers found that teens were more likely have migraines if they also drank alcohol, coffee, and/or had low levels of activity. Low physical activity was also associated with tension headaches. Teens that smoked were more likely to have a combination of tension and migraine headaches.

While the study indicates correlation rather than causation, the results do suggest strong links between unhealthy lifestyle and the presence of persistent headaches in adolescents. Researches recommended that further research be done to asses whether educational programs could influence teens’ behavior and experience with headaches. If you’re a teen with persistent headaches or someone you love is, consider consulting with a doctor of chiropractic about healthy lifestyle and nutritional choices that can prevent further pain.

Special Note: One of the best things you can do for headaches is see your chiropractor. Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oblander if you or your child are having frequent headaches! You can call our office at 406-652-3553.

Fiore, Kristina. “Diet and Lifestyle Linked to Headaches in Teens.” Medpage Today. June 7, 2010. Accessed October 26, 2011. http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/Migraines/20521.

Milde-Busch A, et al “Associations of diet and lifestyle with headache in high-school students: results from a cross-sectional study” Headache 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2010.01706.x.

Article written by Michael Melton and shared from www.chironexus.net

Chiropractic Effective for Tension Headache

Chiropractic Effective for Tension Headache

With headaches being one of the most common nervous system disorders worldwide, affecting almost 50 percent of the population at least once annually, finding a way to relieve them is important to when it comes to improving quality of life for a large number of people. Certainly there are several different types of headaches–migraines, cluster headaches, and medication-overuse headaches, for instance–and each one requires a unique approach for treatment.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, tension headaches, also commonly referred to as stress headaches, are headaches which affect anywhere from 30 to 80 percent of sufferers and are signified by their mild-to-moderate in pain that spreads across the entire head in a sort of band. This makes them very different than migraines which are usually felt on one side or the other.

Because tension headaches in particular are so prevalent, researchers have conducted various studies to determine which types of remedies work by offering some relief. One such piece of research was published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine in February of 2016 and it was designed to determine whether there were any head pain benefits offered by chiropractic adjustments.

Sixty-two women between the ages of 18 and 65 were recruited, all of which suffered with tension-type headaches. Upon acceptance, each was assigned to one of four groups, three of which involved a specific treatment (one was spinal manipulation) and one which served as a control.

Upon conclusion of the study, researchers discovered that, when compared to the control, the individuals who engaged in spinal manipulation “showed improvements in their physical role, bodily pain, and social functioning” at one month post-treatment. In other words, receiving chiropractic care helped improve their quality of life in many fashions beyond just the physical results one might expect. If you suffer from tension headaches, chiropractic can be a natural way to get relief.

  1. Tension headaches. Cleveland Clinic. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/
  2. Espi-Lopez G et al. (February 29, 2016). Do manual therapy techniques have a positive effect on quality of life in people with tension-type headache? A randomized controlled trial.

Article shared from www.chironexus.net

Car Accidents and Delayed Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Car Accidents and Delayed Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Even if your recent fender bender didn’t seem too serious, there’s still a very real chance that you or your passengers may have been hurt. That’s because even the most minor car accidents can cause hidden injuries and delayed symptoms. And while damage to your car is likely obvious and easy to assess, evaluating damage to your body may be far more difficult. In fact, it’s not unusual for a driver or passenger to walk away from a collision with potentially serious musculoskeletal injuries (such as a concussion or whiplash), without knowing it.

Because of the stress response, right after an accident the body’s defenses are on high alert. Any pain may be masked by endorphins produced by the body during and shortly after this kind of traumatic event. Endorphins help the body manage pain and stress and can create a temporary euphoria or “high” feeling. When the threat of the accident is gone, endorphin production slowly disappears, allowing you to feel pain that may have remained hidden earlier.

Perhaps the most common delayed symptom is that of whiplash. Whiplash consists of soft tissue damage in the neck from the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the head, creating hyperflexion and hyperextension of the neck. This can not only cause damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments of your neck, it can also occasionally fracture or dislocate vertebrae and cause any of the following symptoms to show up later:

  • Headaches
  • Reduced range of motion or difficulty moving
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Vertigo
  • Muscle spasms
  • Localized weakness or numbness
  • Stiffness in shoulders and arms

 

Every bit as serious as any broken bones or lacerations, a concussion can prove to be a grave threat to your health. Quite simply, a concussion is the result of the brain colliding with the inside of the skull from a rapid acceleration or deceleration. Not all concussions occur because of bumping the head. If the head is restrained in any way and the restraint suddenly stops or suddenly jerks into motion, a concussion may occur. Symptoms of concussion include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Bad temper
  • Nausea
  • Spasms
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Amnesia
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty concentrating or reasoning
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Tiredness, sleeplessness, or other problems with your ability to sleep

 

The key point with any of these symptoms is to know whether or not you had them before the accident. Someone who knows you or lives with you can help identify any changes in your behavior that may indicate a possible concussion. If you didn’t have a symptom that you’re now experiencing, see your doctor right away.

In addition to the health consequences of car accidents with delayed symptoms, there is also the insurance aspect to consider. Because many accident-related injuries don’t show up immediately, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for the medical expenses from any delayed symptoms if you settle with your insurance company right away. Therefore, consider waiting a few days before signing any release of liability so that any delayed symptoms have an opportunity to reveal themselves. Seeing a chiropractor for a medical evaluation as soon as possible after an accident is also a good idea, since he or she can help identify injuries and start treatment promptly. In many cases, seeking appropriate medical care soon after an accident can improve your chances of a more complete and more rapid recovery.

If you have been in an accident, you can call Oblander Chiropractic at 406-652-3553 to schedule an exam with Dr. Oblander.

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For Many Kids, Back to School Means Back to the Doctor. Here’s How Parents Can Help

For Many Kids, Back to School Means Back to the Doctor. Here’s How Parents Can Help

school-bus-200-300With Halloween two weeks behind us and Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, most school-age children are back in the classroom and (hopefully) have adapted to the fall routine. For some kids, though, the fall routine includes lots of sick days and doctor visits.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s a good reason for this. “Schools inherently foster the transmission of infections from person to person because they are a group setting in which people are in close contact and share supplies and equipment.”

The CDC also provides some statistics that puts this issue in perspective: “Infectious diseases account for millions of school days lost each year for kindergarten through 12th-grade public school students in the United States:

  • 40% of children aged 5–17 years missed 3 or more school days in the past year because of illness or injury.
  • Nearly 22 million school days are lost each year due to colds alone.
  • 38 million school days are lost each year due to the influenza virus.”

Naturally, schoolchildren aren’t the only ones who are affected when even common illnesses are passed from child-to-child in the classroom environment. Those same illnesses (or the microorganisms that cause them) ride home with kids on the bus or in the neighborhood carpool. And when they do, the whole family is at risk. Plus, parents are left to cope with the inconveniences and costs that come with sick days and doctor visits.

Communicable diseases that spike at the beginning of the school year are numerous and include the common cold (aka rhinovirus), the flu, strep throat, Fifth disease (a viral infection caused by the parvovirus), pinkeye, whooping cough (aka pertussis), mono, chicken pox, meningitis, lice, scabies, pinworm, ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot.

Some areas of the country are also concerned with two other viral infections that thrive in crowded areas such as schools. According to Indiana news station WTHR.com, “The first is a viral infection called ‘hand, foot and mouth disease.’ ”

Noted pediatrician Dr. Michael McKenna from the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health says in regard to hand, foot, and mouth disease, “The rash looks ugly, kids feel uncomfortable, and they can have fevers. The one concern is if they have so many ulcers in their mouth that they refuse to eat or drink, that they can become dehydrated. This year, it’s much more prominent and the rash is much more severe.”

The article continues: “Doctors are also seeing many more cases of shigellosis, a bacterial infection spread when people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. It can cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.”

Children aren’t the only ones at risk for transmittable infections and diseases in and around the classroom—teachers and administrators are also susceptible to many viruses and bacterial infections, which range from simply annoying to very serious. In fact, many teachers quickly get sick upon the arrival of a new school year. For these people, it is important to practice prevention. Minimize contact with students, urge them to cough and sneeze into their elbow, and send them to the nurse if they look as if they may be coming down with something.

So else can parents do to try to keep their kids healthy and at school during the fall and winter months? Here are a few thoughts we’d like to share:

  • Teach your children good hand-washing habits that follow them from home to school and be sure that they wash their hands when they return from school in the afternoon.
  • Explain to your children the importance of keeping their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth throughout the school day and discourage them from sharing cups, utensils, etc.
  • Encourage your children to eat a healthy, balanced diet that will support their immune system.
  • Make sure your children get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Spending time outside and away from crowded, enclosed areas can help reduce the likelihood of sickness.
  • Set a reasonable bedtime for your children and stick to it. Not only are well-rested kids likely to perform better at school, they’re also more likely to stay healthy.
  • If your children are sick, please keep them home until they are well. This is for the benefit of classmates and teachers, but it’s also for the benefit of your own kids. Children who have not yet completely recovered and return to school to early may be more likely to pick up additional illnesses in the classroom.
The Anatomy and Physiology of Headaches

The Anatomy and Physiology of Headaches

store-mannequin-200-300Headaches are one of the most common types of pain that people experience on a regular basis.  Researchers estimate that nine out of ten Americans suffer from headache pain at some point.  95% of women and 90% of men have had at least one in the past 12 months.  And for about 45 million of us, those headaches are chronic.

The frequency, severity and duration of headaches can vary greatly from individual to individual.  They range from occasional to near-constant and from mild to throbbing.  Some are bad enough to cause nausea and become debilitating, preventing the sufferer from working and enjoying day-to-day leisure activities.

What exactly causes headaches?

Headaches occur for many reasons.  When they arise on their own (true 90%-95% of the time), they’re referred to as “primary headaches.”  When they’re triggered as a result of some other health condition, they’re called “secondary headaches.”  Chiropractic physicians most commonly encounter three different types of headaches in their work with patients:

  • Tension headaches are primary headaches that are brought on by unrelieved muscular contractions in the head, neck and shoulders and/or a misalignment (subluxation) of the neck vertebrae.  They’re often the result of stress that cannot find an outlet.  Misalignment and muscular contractions can themselves become the source of broader tension and stress throughout the body, setting in motion a feedback loop that eventually produces a headache.  According to Dr. George McClelland, a chiropractor in Virginia, “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture.  This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.”
  • Migraine headaches are also primary headaches.  They are sometimes referred to as vascular headaches because they happen when blood vessels in the head suddenly expand, or “dilate”.  However, we know that the nervous system and genetic factors are also leading contributors.  Sufferers report a wide range of triggers and related symptoms.  Research into the exact cause of migraines is ongoing, and the condition has stubbornly resisted efforts to find a pharmaceutical “silver bullet”.
  • Cervicogenic headaches are secondary headaches produced when pain begins in the neck or back of the head and is referred to the forehead or the area behind, in and around the eyes.  Trauma, chronic tension and disease are some of the more common initial sources of neck pain that is referred to the head.  Trigger points in the neck, shoulder blade and spine may also be sources of these headaches, though they can be much more difficult to identify.

What can be done to relieve headache pain?

While a wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications have been developed to relieve this pain, they generally do little to address the underlying cause of the problem.  In addition, many of these compounds can have unwanted side effects, particularly if they’re used often, over a prolonged period of time or in combination with other medicines.  A growing awareness of both the limitations and risks of pharmaceuticals has led many headache sufferers to explore alternative approaches to managing them, including chiropractic.

A large and growing body of medical research suggests that chiropractic care can be effective in preventing or reducing the frequency and severity of primary headaches.  There is also some evidence that it may have benefits for cervicogenic headache sufferers.  In a study conducted by the New Zealand government, the majority of those suffering recurrent headaches from spinal misalignment found that their headaches were relieved by chiropractic manipulation, and many were found to still be pain-free in the two-year follow-up.  A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulation such as that used by chiropractors is more effective and longer-lasting for treating tension headaches than the use of commonly prescribed pain medication.

A chiropractic physician will perform a thorough examination to identify the cause of your headache pain.  Depending on your specific circumstances, he or she may perform chiropractic manipulation or mobilization to improve the alignment of the spine, relieve muscle tension, reduce nerve irritation and improves vascular flow.  Massage and other therapies may also be included as part of a well-rounded treatment plan.  In many cases, this will relieve headache symptoms.  Your chiropractor may also offer posture and lifestyle recommendations to help prevent future headaches.  These may involve diet, exercise, sleep and stress management techniques.

Remember—if you or someone you care about suffers from recurring or chronic headaches, there are effective treatment options available that don’t involve drugs.  We encourage you to call or visit our office to learn more!

The Benefits of Magnesium

The Benefits of Magnesium

magnesium-crystals-200-300While it may not be as well-known as other mineral nutrients, Magnesium is involved in a variety of the human body’s processes, ranging from maintaining bone density to keeping our heart rhythm steady. Without the proper levels of magnesium, we’d suffer from fragile bones, high blood pressure, weak muscles and heart problems, among other health problems.

Most people know that calcium is important in maintaining strong bones. However, many are unaware that without adequate magnesium, the bones cannot absorb that calcium, making it worse than useless. If calcium supplements are taken without corresponding amounts of magnesium (in a proportion of 2 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium), the calcium will tend to build up in the soft tissues and the joints, contributing to osteoarthritis, while at the same time failing to protect against osteoporosis.

There are over 300 different enzymes in the body that require magnesium in order to work. Magnesium helps to lower blood pressure by keeping the muscles of the heart and blood vessels relaxed. It can reduce headaches (including migraines), alleviate symptoms of PMS, and reduce your risk of diabetes. It is also helpful in the treatment of kidney stones, constipation, muscle cramps, depression and anxiety, and reduces inflammation.

The NHANES study (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) of 1999-2000 found that 68% of Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium. Adults who consume less than the RDA of magnesium are one and a half times more likely to have elevated markers for inflammation than those who get the recommended amount. Increased inflammatory markers indicate a higher risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is as follows:

Children 1-3 years: 80 mg/day
Children 4-8 years: 130 mg/day
Children 9-13 years: 240 mg/day

Girls 14-18 years: 360 mg/day
Women 19-30 years: 310 mg/day
Women 31 years and over: 320 mg/day

Pregnant women under 19 years: 400 mg/day
Pregnant women 19 to 30 years: 350 mg/day
Pregnant Women 31 years and up: 360 mg/day

Breastfeeding Women under 19 years: 360 mg/day
Breastfeeding Women 19 to 30 years: 310 mg/day
Breastfeeding Women 31 years and up: 320 mg/day

Boys 14-18 years: 410 mg/day
Men 19-30 years: 400 mg/day
Men 31 years and up: 420 mg/day

Although magnesium is found in a number of common foods, it is easily depleted by cooking and processing. There are also certain conditions that put you at risk of magnesium deficiency, including intestinal viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhea, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, kidney disease, pancreatitis and taking diuretics.

Signs of magnesium deficiency include muscle spasms or weakness, abnormal blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, irritability and restless leg syndrome.

Good food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens), seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, and flaxseed), nuts (almonds, cashews, and walnuts), baked potatoes and chocolate.

Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Range of Motion in Your Neck

Top 5 Exercises for Increasing Range of Motion in Your Neck

girafe réticulée 06Pain and stiffness can significantly reduce your neck’s range of motion. Although a decreased range of motion in your neck may not seem like a major problem, it can actually contribute to a number of unpleasant conditions, including headache, fatigue, irritability and sleep loss. Like any other part of the body, our neck can become stronger and more flexible through exercise. Following are some useful exercises that can help to increase the range of motion in your neck.

All these exercises should be done while sitting comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your neck in a neutral position. Your neck should be positioned right above your spine (in other words, be sure your head is not jutting forward or back), and you should be looking straight ahead. If you feel pain (rather than just discomfort) while doing any of these exercises, stop immediately and do not resume them until you have consulted with your chiropractor.

1) Neck rotations – Keeping your head level, gradually turn your head to the right as far as you comfortably can, looking over your right shoulder, and hold for 10 seconds. Then slowly turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder, and hold for another 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

2) Neck tilts – Tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear as close to your shoulder as possible, and hold for 10 seconds. Do the same on the other side, tilting your head to the left, again holding for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

3) Neck flexion and extension – This is simply bending your head forward and back. Beginning in a neutral position, gradually bend your head forward, letting it hang with your chin close to your chest, and hold for 10 seconds. Then slowly bring your head up and back so that you are looking at the ceiling. Repeat 5 times.

4) Half circles – Start by tilting your head toward your right shoulder as far as possible, then slowly swing it to the left in a fluid half-circle, moving your head forward and down until your chin is close to your chest, continuing until your head is tilted to the left with your left ear above your left shoulder. Then repeat the movement in the other direction.

5) Levator scapulae stretch – Tilting your head to the right over your shoulder, turn and drop your head slightly so that your nose is pointed toward your elbow, and hold for 10 seconds. You should feel the stretch in the muscle connecting the back of the left lower neck to your shoulder blade. Repeat on the other side.

Tension Headache Causes and Treatment Options

Tension Headache Causes and Treatment Options

??????When your head feels like it’s being squeezed in a vise, with pain radiating from the neck, the back of your head or your eyes, you may have what is referred to as a tension-type headache.  Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, accounting for approximately 90% of all occurrences.  Experts estimate that between 30% and 80% of the US adult population suffers from the occasional tension headache.  It is also possible to have chronic tension headaches, but this is experienced by only about 3% of the population.

Unlike migraines, tension headaches do not run in families.  There is no single cause of tension headaches.  Most are due to emotional or physical stress of some kind.  Among some of these causes are:

  • Insufficient or poor quality sleep
  • Losing a job or beginning a new job
  • Having recently had a baby
  • Relationship problems with your partner
  • Sports competitions
  • Studying for school exams
  • Being involved in too many activities
  • Being overweight

Anxiety, fatigue, hunger and poor posture can also significantly contribute to the likelihood of a tension headache caused by tight muscles in the neck and scalp.  Another possible source of some tension headaches may be the frequent or constant clenching of the teeth, which can cause chronic contraction of the muscles in the temples (which is why massaging this area sometimes brings some relief).

Those who suffer from chronic tension headaches tend to be people who suffer from stress on a daily basis.  Women are the most common sufferers of these chronic headaches, which can vary in intensity throughout the day, but which always produce some level of pain.  Chronic tension headaches are classified as those lasting for 15 days or more.  Most commonly, chronic tension headaches last for 60 to 90 days.

Analgesics such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and aspirin are often used to treat the occasional tension headache.  However, taking these on a long-term basis can cause what are referred to as medication overuse headaches (or rebound headaches), which are the third most common form of headache.

Stress reduction techniques can help prevent tension headaches.  Making lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, eating healthy food and getting regular exercise can help too.  That said, it’s important to understand that this type of headache is often the result of specific situations in our lives and the way our bodies react to them.  This means that the way we deal with these root-cause situations (potentially including avoiding them in the first place or managing them in a different way) is often the key to making them less frequent or less severe.