7 Leading Causes of Headaches


Headaches are not just a nuisance, they can be debilitating. If you’ve never had a serious headache or migraine, count your blessings. For those who have, you know exactly what we mean. Oftentimes headaches are harmless and go away on their own, but when you start to have headaches more often than not, it may be time to check in with a physician. While there are countless causes of headaches, we’ve gathered the 7 leading causes below.

  1. Stress 
    Stress and anxiety are all too common causes of migraine headaches. When you are stressed, your adrenal glands may over produce adrenaline, causing a spasm of the arteries, leading to headaches.

  2. Hormone Imbalance
    Hormone imbalances happen in both women and men, and can cause persistent headaches. In women especially, hormone fluctuations occur during their menstrual cycle and can lead to severe headaches. This often has to do with the hormone estrogen.

  3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies 
    Low magnesium is easy to overlook, but can be a major factor in people with frequent migraine headaches. Magnesium deficiencies cause changes in the arteries which lead to migraines. A magnesium deficiency can also be linked to certain hormonal imbalances. Some doctors recommend trying a magnesium supplement versus Tylenol for headache treatment.

  4. Poor Eating and Sleeping Habits
    Making changes to your diet and eating healthy without missing meals is a good way to aid people with headaches. Fast food and unbalanced diets can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Healthy sleeping habits are also extremely important in decreasing headache frequency.

  5. Unhealthy Physical Activity
    While we usually recommend increased physical activity for a healthy lifestyle, there are people who overdo it. Pushing your body over the limit in terms of activity, especially when your body is not properly trained, can lead to swelling of blood vessels in the head, neck and shoulders. This too can lead to headaches. That being said, being inactive is also not healthy.

  6. Poor Posture
    Poor posture when sitting or standing can lead to a slew of medical issues, one of them being headaches. Headaches are common in people whose posture is poor, and is caused by the hunching of the neck and shoulders for a long period of time.

  7. Food Sensitivities
    Believe it or not, food sensitivities can trigger headaches. The most common foods to elicit this response are caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, dairy and aspartame.

If you are experiencing headaches, we may be able to help. Call us at Sarrica Physical Therapy and Wellness for an evaluation at 347.560.6920.