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6 Common Headache Triggers

6 Common Headache Triggers

When you suffer from headaches, it really starts to affect how you live your life. Not only is your social life affected, but your work can be affected, too. You may or may not know the circumstances that trigger these headaches, but if you can find out, you could be on your way to a headache-free life.

At Pinnacle Health Chiropractic, our team helps you figure out not only what’s causing your headaches, but ways for you to prevent them as well. Dr. Jason Ablett is our expert chiropractic specialist. He gets you the help you need when headaches seem to be ruling your life.

Different types of headaches

Headaches are not uncommon at any point in your life. Whether you’re going through a stressful time, or you have a cold, a headache isn’t always something to worry about. However, when your headaches are severe and begin to affect your daily life, it’s time to start figuring out the cause.

There are actually many different types of headaches that can affect you. They’re separated into two different categories — primary and secondary types of headaches. Primary headaches occur without other medical problems, where secondary headaches usually are due to some other problem or condition.

Although there are many different types of primary headaches, a few of the most common include:


Migraine headaches are severe headaches that may happen several times a month. These headaches cause severe, throbbing pain and can last for days at a time. Migraines also can lead to other symptoms like light sensitivity and vomiting.

Tension headaches

This type of headache is very common, especially if you’re a teenager or adult. Tension headaches come and go, and don’t usually cause many other symptoms. The pain is usually mild or moderate with this type of headache.

Cluster headaches

This type of headache is one of the most severe forms of headaches. It’s named because the headaches usually come in groups, several times a day for weeks to months at a time.

Cluster headaches cause intense pain behind one of your eyes that may be constant or dull and aching. Your eyelid may swell and your eye turns red and tears up. The pain is often so intense that you’re unable to sit still during an episode.

Chronic daily headaches

This type of headache occurs when you’re diagnosed with one of the other three types of headaches, and you get them more than 15 days out of any given month. You also must have them for three or more consecutive months to be considered chronic.

What are the triggers?

Knowing the things that trigger your headaches could help you stop your headaches in their tracks. But what are some of the usual suspects? Here are six of the most common triggers of headaches:

1. Stress

Stress is common, but can lead to a variety of problems in your body, including headaches. Tension headaches and migraine headaches are most often triggered by stress. Tension in your muscles from stress causes your brain to perceive the pain in your head.

2. Alcohol

Both migraines and cluster headaches have been known to be caused by alcohol consumption. It’s unclear if the alcohol itself is to blame for these headaches, or if it’s another component in your alcoholic drink of choice that could be the culprit.

3. Lack of sleep

If you don’t get the proper amount of sleep, you may notice a spike in the number of headaches you get. Sleep is when your body has time to reset and relax, so it’s no surprise that a lack of it can lead to headaches like migraines.

4. Diet

Foods are another common trigger when it comes to migraine headaches. This is especially true with foods that are highly processed. It may only be one specific kind of food that causes your headaches or a variety.

5. Hormones

Estrogen changes in women can trigger different kinds of headaches, especially migraines. You may notice that when it’s time for your menstrual cycle, you often suffer from headaches. This could be due to the abrupt changes in the hormones throughout your body.

6. Environment

Cluster headaches often come on during certain seasons. While it’s not completely understood why this is the case, factors that could play a role are changes in temperature and humidity. Migraine headaches are also caused by seasonal changes.

If you’re tired of suffering from chronic headaches, don’t hesitate to call our office today to get the treatment you need, or you can schedule an appointment online using the booking tool on our website.

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