The value of Chiropractic in Headaches
Headaches are so common they can almost be considered a normal phenomenon, but you may be suffering from more than you can cope with. Did you know that chiropractors treat many of the causes of headaches?
It's too much tension and stress!
Chiropractic may help to relieve tightness in your neck, back and shoulder muscles due to stress, tension and tiredness. Treatment may:
- Reduce tension headaches – headaches that begin from the neck and can cause a feeling of tightness round the head until the forehead
- Improve the function of the jaw – teeth grinding can cause muscle tension and may be a major factor in chronic headaches
- Help you reduce stress and tension in your daily life
Chiropractic may also be very effective in the management of headaches that are the result of an injury or repetitive strain to your neck (known as cervicogenic headaches). These are usually dull or aching headaches, affecting the base of the skull or one or both sides of your head. Functional problems of the neck joints may cause headaches. Your chiropractor may detect these functional problems and correct them.
Migraine is a severe headache in a specific area of the head or in the whole head, accompanied by other symptoms which may include nausea, increased sensitivity to light or sound that can last from hours to even days. It is very common for them not to respond to any form of treatment. Often, neck tension can induce a migraine attack, hence managing the neck problem with chiropractic care can contribute to lowering the extend and frequency of migraines.
Improving functional disorders
Unlike painkilling drugs, chiropractic treats the cause of the pain, not just the pain itself. Your chiropractor will try to locate the specific functional disorder that caused pain and correct it. He is well trained to recognize the type of headache which is related to any neck problem and he will inform you whether Chiropractic can help you. He will carry out a thorough analysis of motion in the spinal joints, he will palpate the vertebrae and muscles in the affected area and he will check if any nerve is being pressed. He may need to have a look at any x-rays or other imaging tests you may have done and he will ask you questions about your activities, your posture and your lifestyle.
Chiropractic techniques include gentle, pain-free and skillful manipulations of the spinal joints, called adjustments, aimed at freeing stiff joints and removing spinal nerve pressure. Chiropractic is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort during the first few sessions, when your back is still very sore.
Additionally, your chiropractor may need to do some muscle work to relax any muscle contractions. He may recommend the use of ice or heat and he may give you advice about the right activity and exercise.
Painkillers are not the solution
Many people take painkillers for headaches all the time. Although painkillers can dull your pain, they are not the long-term solution. They may also have side effects. Regularly taking painkillers to treat headaches can actually cause more headaches.
How could lifestyle changes help?
Stress and tension may often be the trigger of muscular pain in the neck and as a result neck strain can cause cervical headache. While chiropractic often helps eliminating problems causing headaches, better results are obtained from treatment if you change some stressful habits or habits that cause pain in the cervical joints. Assuming a healthy diet and avoiding some food substances, especially alcohol, can be crucial against headaches. Small manipulations to your lifestyle can often make major changes to the quality of your life.
Can a headache be that serious?
Yes. If your chiropractor realizes that your headache is not related to mechanical problems of the musculoskeletal system, he will refer you to your family physician for further evaluation.