Healing the 3 most common holiday headaches

You know it’s Christmas in Australia when the only thing hotter than the roast ham is the temperature outside; but, did you know that this time of year can also be one of the worst when it comes to suffering from headaches and pains?

There’s nothing worse than being struck with a headache during the office Christmas party or while enjoying a family day at the beach, so we’ve put together a list of the most common ‘holiday’ headaches and some tips on how to heal them.

  1. Dehydration Headaches

Got a headache that sits at the front, back or side of the head (but not the back of the neck)? Are you feeling thirsty, dizzy, have a dry mouth or darker-coloured urine? If the answer is ‘yes’, you might be experiencing a dehydration headache.

During the summer months, our body loses even more fluid than usual, so it’s important to up your water intake and eat foods rich in fluids, like cucumber, watermelon and salad leaves.

If you aren’t giving your body enough hydration, your brain can temporarily shrink, which results in the pain you’ll feel from a dehydration headache.

Heal it: The good news is that this type of headache is easy to relieve. Up your water intake immediately and replace your electrolytes by sipping on some coconut water. Try and move into a cooler room and reduce any physical activity that could be making you sweat excessively.

2. Cervicogenic Headaches

Packing up the family Griswold-style for a Christmas holiday?
Cervicogenic headaches can come from long trips hunched in a car or airplane seat and they can leave you feeling like you have a stiff neck or a change in headache with posture.  

Heal it: To help relieve tension headaches, it’s important to maintain good posture and a strong core. Try sitting up straight and rolling your shoulders back and down towards the bottom of your spine. If you can, stand up and take a short walk around as often as possible during your trip and if you’re lugging big bags around with you, make sure you don’t lift them by bending forward (instead squat down to pick up the load).

If you’re planning a trip away, it might be a good time to visit your chiro for a treatment and some personalised tips to ensure you get to your destination as comfortably as possible.

3. Migraine Headaches

Unfortunately for migraine sufferers, the Christmas season can bring with it a range of headache triggers, from stress and certain foods (such as cured meats, aged cheese and alcohol) to caffeine.

Heal it: We’re of the opinion that prevention is better than a cure, so if you know you suffer from migraines, it’s best to avoid any triggers. If you do find yourself struck down with one of these painful headaches, you can visit your chemist for pain relief; however if your symptoms aren’t lessening, visit your local GP or chiropractor for personalised advice and a treatment plan.