A number of studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care for headaches – which is good news for the 90% of Americans who suffer from headaches at some point in their lives. Chiropractic care is not only excellent for treating headaches, it is also gentle, non-invasive, does not require prescription medications, and is known for being relatively free of side effects.
Headaches can range from mild to debilitating, and all the stages in between. Some people suffer from headaches only occasionally, while others are constantly dealing with headaches. Unfortunately, standard medical care can only do so much to treat headaches – and the treatments often come with side effects, such as those caused by pain medications.
Chiropractic takes a different approach than traditional Western medicine. Instead of treating the symptoms, chiropractic attempts to get to the source of the problem. Using non-invasive treatments, chiropractic works to help the body heal itself – which it can do surprisingly well when the conditions are right. Chiropractic strives to create these ideal conditions.
The two most common types of headaches most people suffer from include:
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. The pain of a tension headache can range from fairly mild to severe. Although some sufferers describe tension headaches as similar to having a painful band around their heads, the symptoms of tension headaches can vary significantly from individual to individual. Symptoms of tension headaches include:
Pain that is constant, not throbbing
A feeling of tightness in the temples, forehead, back of head, side of head or combination of these
Neck pain and stiffness
Tension headaches, as the name indicates, are caused by tension in the body – often in the neck and upper back.
Migraine headaches, while less common than tension headaches, are still a major issue for a large portion of Americans. It is estimated that approximately 13 percent of the population suffers from migraines.
Symptoms of migraines include:
Pain is often on one side of the head
Sensitivity to light
Migraines are still not fully understood by the medical community. Research has shown what happens in the brain during migraines, and there are a number of triggers that are known, but research is ongoing to determine exactly what is happening and what causes these debilitating headaches.
Research has shown that chiropractic can help headache sufferers, particularly those that suffer from tension headaches. There are a number of ways that chiropractic can improve symptoms, including:
The spine and the muscles, ligaments and tendons that surround it are prone to injury and misalignment, which can cause significant tension, nerve pain and associated health issues. Subluxations, also referred to as spinal misalignments, can put pressure on nerves and cause muscles to tighten and even spasm. All of this can lead to considerable tension – tension that can result in headaches.
Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine, relieving pressure on nerves and helping muscles to relax.
While chiropractic adjustments can do a great deal to help relieve tension headaches, migraines are often most effectively treated through lifestyle adjustments. Changes in diet and avoidance of known triggers are considered the best way to avoid migraines and minimize symptoms.
Chiropractic care includes lifestyle advice to help patients navigate their health issues effectively, including migraines.
If you are suffering from headaches, please contact us to schedule an appointment. Let our chiropractic team help you get much-needed relief from your headaches!