When temperatures are elevated in summer, heat-induced and severe headaches like migraines are common during the hot months. However, a migraine caused by heat is not the same as a headache caused by heat, as the two have different symptoms. What they have in common is that they’re both triggered by the way hot weather affects the body. Understanding the causes and the warning signs of a heat headache can help prevent and treat potentially dangerous heat-related conditions. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic use various techniques and therapies customized to the individual to relieve pain and improve function.
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Headaches and migraines are common, affecting 20 percent of women and nearly 10 percent of men. An increase in frequency can be caused by
A heat-induced headache can feel like a dull pulsing ache around the temples or in the back of the head. Depending on the cause, a heat-induced headache may escalate to a more intensely felt internal pain.
A heat-induced headache may not be caused by the hot weather but by how the body responds to heat. Weather-related triggers of headaches and migraine include:
When exposed to higher temperatures, the body needs more water to compensate for the lost water as it uses and sweats it out. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures puts the body at risk for heat exhaustion, one of the stages of heat stroke, with headaches as a symptom of heat exhaustion. Any time the body is exposed to high temperatures or spends a long time outside in the hot sun, and a headache occurs afterward, a heat stroke is possible.
Symptoms of a heat-induced headache can vary according to the situation. If the headache is triggered by heat exhaustion, the body will have heat exhaustion symptoms and head pain. Heat exhaustion symptoms include:
If the headache or migraine is related to heat exposure but not connected to heat exhaustion, the symptoms may include the following:
Individuals can be proactive about prevention.
Home remedies can include:
Chiropractic treatment can include:
Bryans, Roland, et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of Manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Demont, Anthony, et al. “Efficacy of physiotherapy interventions for the management of adults with cervicogenic headache: A systematic review and meta-analyses.” PM & R: the journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation vol. 15,5 (2023): 613-628. doi:10.1002/pmrj.12856
Di Lorenzo, C et al. “Heat stress disorders and headache: a case of new daily persistent headache secondary to heat stroke.” BMJ case reports vol. 2009 (2009): bcr08.2008.0700. doi:10.1136/bcr.08.2008.0700
Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, César, and María L Cuadrado. “Physical therapy for headaches.” Cephalalgia: an international journal of Headache vol. 36,12 (2016): 1134-1142. doi:10.1177/0333102415596445
Swanson JW. (2018). Migraines: Are they triggered by weather changes? mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/expert-answers/migraine-headache/faq-20058505
Victoria Espí-López, Gemma, et al. “Effectiveness of Physical Therapy in Patients with Tension-type Headache: Literature Review.” Journal of the Japanese Physical Therapy Association = Rigaku ryoho vol. 17,1 (2014): 31-38. doi:10.1298/jjpta.Vol17_005
Whalen, John, et al. “A Short Review of the Treatment of Headaches Using Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.” Current pain and headache reports vol. 22,12 82. 5 Oct. 2018, doi:10.1007/s11916-018-0736-y
The information herein on "Heat Induced Headaches: EP's Chiropractic Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
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