Headaches

headacheEveryone gets the occasional headache, but some headaches get so bad they won’t go away. While drugs treat the symptoms, they often ignore the underlying cause of the problem.

The worst headaches can be slow to respond to the intended effect of the medications. The stronger medications can have negative and long-lasting effects to the rest of your body when used for extended periods. They is why many people finally decide to look to other, more natural (and safer) solutions for their problem such as chiropractic.

Different Kinds of Headaches

In order to better treat any problem it is first important to understand what causes it. There are many different kinds of headaches, some which can be treated by chiropractic better than others. Headaches are most commonly caused by

Changes by vascular constriction

Tension of the muscles

Sinus congestion

These headaches can radiate pain all over the head and feel centered in many different locations, but it is most important to know that chiropractic is a great solution to those headaches centered around muscle tension and changes in vascular flow. Sinus headaches may be treated as well but the cause is likely to be more

The three main types of headaches most often found in chiropractic offices are:

Tension headaches

Migraine headaches

Cervicogenic headaches (from the neck)

The last type of headache mentioned sounds a bit scary, but it just simply means a headache that is caused by referred pain that originates within the bone, muscles, or nerves of the neck.

Tension Headaches

When we become stressed, frightened, or angry, the body will respond with increased muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, or head. This reaction, often called a fight or flight response, is how we respond to stress. If stress becomes very constant in our lives, that muscle tension can become just another habit.

This can lead to imbalances in the body, which then leads to more muscle tension and pain. Chiropractic care can will relax the tight muscles and realign the spine underneath to end this vicious cycle of pain. Those that are seeking treatment for tension headaches may often see a drastic improvement with just a few spinal adjustments as the nerves become less irritated and the muscles become more relaxed.

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are brought about by changes in vascular flow, triggered by a variety of factors such as different smells, foods, weather, hormonal changes, and stress. These often very painful headaches do not always start off as pain. They can begin with nausea or the person may experience a halo effect called a visual aura.

Recent studies have shown chiropractic treatment may play a significant role in reducing the number of migraines a person has. By careful manipulation of the neck and spine, chiropractic adjustments may be able to reduce nerve irritation in the spine, thus preventing radiating or referred pain, and improve vascular flow.

Treatment Types

Chiropractic treatment centers around the idea of manipulating the spinal column and neck to improve posture and blood flow. To treat a headache, the chiropractor will likely perform an adjustment with his or her hands, but may also use trigger point therapy, massage and other supporting types of treatments to create a holistic approach to the problem. The chiropractor will also likely recommend some stretching exercises and basic changes in posture to help keep things balanced in between visits.