80 percent of Americans suffer from tension headaches from time to time. Tense muscles, poor posture, work stress, and bad sleeping habits all cause headaches that start in your neck and creep up into your head until the ache progresses into pain.
Then there are the more than 39 million people suffering from migraines in the US. Nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and vision changes all accompany throbbing, pulsing pain. If you experience headaches of any kind, there’s something you should know.
Even though headaches are common, it doesn’t mean they are normal.
Before we can talk about how to treat headaches (without pain medication!) you first have to understand how pain and discomfort work in your body.
What is a Headache?
Your body is made up of complex systems that work together to keep blood flowing, oxygen oxygenating, waste products leaving the body, and muscles and bones moving. When one of these systems is not working the way it should, it sends up distress signals so the other systems can either begin repairing the problem or compensate for it. Most of the time, you don’t even realize it is happening. Pain is the most common distress signal we feel, but most of the time we try to ignore it, passing it off as a normal part of life, or mask it with pain medication.
When you have a headache, your body is sending signals to your brain that something is wrong. Perhaps you are dehydrated, have bad posture when you are working at your desk, are sleeping poorly, are eating the wrong foods, or are experiencing more stress than normal. Regardless of the cause, headaches are not a normal part of life, meaning their underlying causes can be fixed.
Treatment for Headaches
Once you understand a headache is an SOS, you can start to see why medications are ineffective at treating headaches. Your nervous system consists of your brain, spinal cord and thousands and thousands of nerves that emanate from there to the rest of your body. When these nerves communicate well, you are pain-free. However, if any of these nerves are hampered in doing their job, they send distress signals to your brain. The brain then interprets these signals as pain.
Pain medication may reduce the inflammation around the nerve or block the pain signal from reaching your brain, but it does nothing to fix the bones or muscles that are impinging on the nerve’s function.
In order to get rid of headaches for good, you have to get your body to stop causing problems with your nerves. Chiropractic care is one of the best ways to do this. By realigning the bones in your spine, your nerves can begin to function the way they are meant to. Your muscles also begin to adjust to the proper alignment in your back and neck, reducing the tension you feel that causes so many headaches. Even migraine sufferers find that chiropractic care reduces the number of headache days they experience, in some cases stopping them altogether.
Curious if chiropractic can help you be headache free? Call Core Chiropractic today or schedule your consultation online and start remembering what normal really is.