Are your daily eating habits causing your Headaches? Reduce your pain by recognising these signs!

Last week I discussed breathing in relation to headache management as it is generally a forgotten function we perform that can increase your discomfort. Today I’ll be addressing another factor you may not be considering when it comes to your headache management…food. Why is it that a Physio is talking to you about food when it comes to reducing your headaches? Well that would be like a mechanic not mentioning you need a wheel alignment when fixing your suspension. The point being you will possibly end up back in the same spot if you don’t fix the possible cause of the problem.

Eating is something we must do to perform optimally on a daily basis due to the nutrients it provides us however there are several foods which can trigger headaches and migraines. The problem is there is no one fast rule across the board that determines who will be effected by what food. What doesn’t effect one person will send another into a pain cave for days.

Doctors and researchers don’t know the exact cause for migraine. Most doctors do agree that when brain activity briefly changes, it can lead to an attack. "Research indicates that certain elements in food such as sulfites, nitrites, histamine, phenylethylamine, and tyramine have a significant role in migraines caused by food. It is believed that these foods and elements in them affect certain migraine phases by prompting the release of chemicals such as norepinephrine and serotonin."

This can elicit several responses, all of which can cause headache or migraine:

  • The blood vessels dilate (vasodilatation), causing the blood pressure to decrease
  • The blood vessels constrict (vasoconstriction), causing the blood pressure to increase
  • Directly stimulate the brainstem, trigeminal ganglia, and cortical neuronal pathways.

Therefore, it stands to reason that when these foods or food additives are eliminated from the diet, the head pain will not be triggered, thus allowing the patient to avoid or prevent food triggered migraine.

So what foods should you be aware of? Some of the foods that can trigger a migraine include the standards (alcohol, chocolate, coffee) along with those you may not know about (apples, bananas, grapes, pork & tea.) You can find an extensive list at

I will be posting a video on our Stack Health page related to this post that will give you my tips to figuring out which foods could be effecting your pain. To have a detailed discussion with me and to receive a plan as to eliminate headaches for good contact me at


Yours in Wellness & Technology

Bryce - Digital physiotherapist specialising in physical dysfunction.

Bryce Finck