When you think about the impact of chiropractic care, you might think of the easing of aches and pains in your muscles and joints. A lot of chiropractic is about correcting your bad posture, and improving your spine and body position.
But few people are aware of just how profound an impact this can have. Your whole body might benefit as a result, and that includes relief from headaches.
15% of the US population complains about regular severe headaches or migraines. If you fall into that category, you’ll know just how debilitating it can be. A headache can come along with a brain fog, and the inability to go about your daily life comfortably. Chiropractic care may not be a catch-all solution, but it can help relieve headaches or prevent them altogether. Combined with other lifestyle changes and precautions, you can find that your headaches become much less of an issue.
There are two ways in which chiropractic care can be used to tackle headaches.
- It can help with the actual pain of a headache or migraine.
- It can help to alleviate the source of the pain.
Treating the Cause
One of the main causes of headaches is tension carried in the neck. Because we spend so much time in a sedentary position and not stretching or moving our body, the joint irritation and tension can become too much to bear and a headache will set in.
This is why office workers should really think of setting up their office with a standing desk and choosing a good standing desk chair. Having an adjustable workstation enables you to switch positions regularly throughout the day and reduce the strain accumulated to the same areas, which is exactly what happens when you sit all day.
Stress is another common cause of headaches. Stress can be carried in the body, and this can therefore trigger the same reaction; a headache.
A chiropractor can help you to work through these issues, and address some of the problems relating to carrying stress and tension in your muscles. This may also help to avoid headaches.
Studies on Chiropractic for Headaches
Studies exploring how chiropractic can help with pain (including headaches) are very promising. A report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) explains that chiropractic care could be an effective treatment for neck pain and therefore headaches.
A 2011 study in the same journal found that spinal manipulation reduced the symptoms of migraines and headaches.
The causes of headaches are still one of life’s mysteries. Not every headache can be pinpointed, but it is clear that chiropractic care seems to help. The stress being removed from the body has a direct impact on the head, and both the headache, and the triggers of the headache.
What Your Chiropractor Might Do to Help
A chiropractor is likely to attempt a few things to help you with your headache.
- Spinal manipulation and adjustments. This can help to reduce the stress in your whole body and make you less susceptible to headaches and migraines.
- Provide lifestyle and nutritional advice. It could be that you need more vitamins or a change in the way you’re exercising.
- Give you ergonomic advice. The postures you take up while you work could be playing a part, and a chiropractor might be able to advise you on stretches or exercises you can do in your workplace. You might be able to eliminate the problem by learning to sit with better posture.
Summary – Chiropractic is Just One Part of the Equation
If you constantly suffer from chronic headaches, you need to see a doctor and try to get a diagnosis. A chiropractor alone is not the only solution, but it can form a part of a treatment plan for chronic pain or illness.
Even if the headaches don’t have an obvious medical cause, there are often many more things that you can do to try to relieve the pain and other symptoms that go along with headaches and migraines. The American Chiropractic Association recommends spinal manipulation as a treatment. This will help to alleviate the stress on the whole nervous system, and as a result, you may experience fewer headaches and less severe headaches.
There are many other basics that you need to get right to reduce your chances of headaches. It’s all stuff you’ve heard before, but it is worth repeating as it is so important. You should make sure you drink enough water. Mayoclinic advises 3.7 liters a day for a man and 2.7 liters a day for a woman. You should also limit your screen time, and eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Your doctor may advise you to supplement this with a multivitamin tablet.
Combining a healthy lifestyle with chiropractic care can give you a fighting chance of relieving headaches or ensuring that they don’t occur in the first place.