Headaches And Migraines: How Chiropractic Can Help
Headaches and migraines are common among Americans and can plague everyday life. The American Chiropractic Association reported that nine out of 10 Americans get headaches. Frequent headaches or consistent migraines can affect the quality of your life and leave you in excruciating pain. If your headaches or migraines are interfering with your daily life, it is time to get professional help.
There are many types of headaches and chances are you would have experienced one tension-related headache at least once in your lifetime. If you are experiencing a headache or migraine, fortunately, there is relief that does not require any downtime on your part or expensive and dangerous surgeries.
Types of Headaches
Headaches can be classified as primary and secondary. Primary headaches include migraines, tension, and other types of headaches that are not caused by any other condition or ailment. Secondary headaches are typically a symptom of an existing medical condition or another problem you might be experiencing. A third type of headache is known as cranial neuralgias or facial pain.
Here are just a few of the most common types of headaches:
- Migraines – Migraines are severe headaches that can impair a person from conducting daily activities or performing at work. Migraines can happen without warning and can be triggered by a variety of factors including lack of sleep, stress, diet, loud noises or smells, bright lights, and many other reasons. Pain from a migraine is typically on one side of the head and can last up to 24 hours.
- Tension headaches – One of the most common headaches is a tension headache. These are less severe than migraines and can cause a dull pain on both sides of your head. Tension headaches can be triggered by many things and sometimes come on as a result of muscle aches around the head and neck area.
- Cluster headaches – Cluster headaches are not as common but can occur often and lead to extreme pain. As the name implies, cluster headaches come consecutively and typically happens on one side of your head. This type of headache can be very unnerving and cause a lot of discomfort, pain, and agitation for sufferers. Smoking is a common trigger for cluster headaches.
- Allergies/Sinus headaches – As the weather changes or the environment becomes more polluted or filled with allergy triggers, many people begin experiencing allergy or sinus headaches. This type of headache is mostly experienced around the nasal cavity, forehead, and cheeks, and tends to go away when triggers disappear.
- Withdrawal headaches – A lack of caffeine, alcohol, or substance can cause withdrawal headaches typically known after a long night out as a hangover. This type of headache is typically an effect of dehydration and the body experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a shortage of any of the above substances.
- Medication-induced headaches – Prolonged use of certain types of medication can cause what is better known as a rebound headache. Painkillers used for extended periods of time can cause medication-overuse headaches and is a common secondary headache.
- Injury-related headaches – Injuries or accidents that result in an impact to the skull, face or neck areas can result in severe headaches that last for a long time. Heavy blows to the head can result in pain that is accompanied by nausea, memory loss, and even vision or hearing problems. If you have had a recent accident or injury and are experiencing excruciating headaches, you should seek medical attention immediately.
- Cranial neuralgias – This type of headache is a significant burden and can cause a lot of pain and loss to your daily social activities or lifestyle. Cranial neuralgias is a localized facial or head pain that is usually associated with migraines and is typically caused by nerve damage, occipital nerve blocks, or direct trauma. Effective treatment for cranial neuralgias depends on a good and accurate diagnosis conducted by a professional, licensed health professional.
How Can Your Chiropractor Help You?
Headaches and migraines come and go and while they are rarely a sign of a serious condition, you should consult medical advice if your headaches are consistent, severe, and getting worse despite your efforts to relieve the tension or pain. While over-the-counter pain medication can provide temporary relief, it is best to consult a doctor if you have been taking pain medication without much help in easing your headache or migraine.
Chiropractic care has been researched and administered for decades on patients like yourself who suffer from headaches and migraines. A chiropractor is a healthcare professional that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. Chiropractic treatments are drug-free and take a holistic approach to treating your headache or migraine.
An experienced chiropractor will conduct a comprehensive examination that includes asking about your medical history and current health condition, as well as performing a physical examination to help diagnose the cause of your headache or migraine and determine any underlying symptoms or conditions that might be causing you pain.
Occasionally, your chiropractor might request additional tests and scans such as MRIs or X-rays to access the severity of your pain and condition. Your chiropractor will recommend a treatment plan that includes a combination of chiropractic care techniques that can help relieve head pain as well as treat any underlying conditions that might be causing the pain. Chiropractic care is gentle and does not require surgery or pain medication to relieve pain.
Understanding Chiropractic Care Treatment Options
Chiropractic care treatment options are non-invasive, drug-free, and often offer immediate relief to many of your symptoms. A licensed and experienced chiropractor will be able to recommend a combination of the following treatment options that can resolve your headaches and migraines. Learn more about what chiropractic care treatment options can help provide relief for your headache or migraine.
Cervical Spinal Decompression
The cervical spine is the portion of the spine consisting of seven vertebrae that make up the neck. Cervical spinal decompression is an effective and safe treatment option that relieves the pressure of spinal nerves, providing pain relief and space in between discs that cause the pain. This non-surgical chiropractic treatment option helps treat severe headaches, stiffness, and pain in your neck and surrounding areas. Cervical spinal decompression is non-surgical and does not require any downtime from your usual daily activities.
An experienced chiropractor is able to perform on or more types of chiropractic adjustments that help improve spinal function and provide relief to headaches and migraines. Chiropractors use their hands to apply controlled pressure to problematic areas or to parts of your joints that might be causing your headaches. These adjustments do not cause pain and tend to feel like a “pop” that provides the relief you need for your headaches and migraines.
Treatment sessions are typically soothing, and many patients end up falling asleep during sessions. The pain relief can be felt during treatments and long-term care can effectively alleviate the problem.
Medical News Today reported that patients who received electrical stimulation noted significant pain reduction in treating migraines. Electrical stimulation is a cost-effective, drug-free method of treating headaches and migraines by sending small electrical pulses into nerve endings. Stimulation pads are placed on the same side as your pain and deliver low-level electrical stimulation through the device.
Mechanical traction applied the spine is referred to as intersegmental traction. Mechanical traction helps expand the spaces between your head and neck to provide pain and pressure relief. It helps to lightly stretch muscles and joints that might be experiencing pressure and is a fast-acting yet effective way to relieve headaches and migraines.
By applying this form of treatment, your joints and cervical spine is given a chance to receive better blood and oxygen flow while relieving any inflammation or pressure that is causing your headaches and migraines. When administered by a trained chiropractor, mechanical traction can help relieve stiffness and increase flexibility. It is used in many chiropractic treatment plans and works not only on headaches and migraines but can also treat neck and back pain.
The types of chiropractic treatment options that would work best for you depends on your condition and levels of pain. Often, more than one type of treatment is recommended to compliment the effects and results of another treatment option. Chiropractic care treatment sessions are generally relaxing and soothing and can provide immediate pain relief.
During your chiropractic treatment session, your chiropractor might also recommend massages or hot/cold therapy that will help relieve your headache or migraine more quickly. These are great relaxing options that help promote better blood flow while helping your neck and head speed up the healing process.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care on Headaches and Migraines
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive and safe health care treatment option that does not require any medication or surgery to help relieve your headaches or migraine. Experienced chiropractors have helped hundreds of patients like yourself enjoy a better quality of life that is free of pain and headaches.
The benefits and effectiveness of chiropractic care and treatment techniques have been researched and studied over the years. Patients have reported immediate pain relief during treatment sessions and can see a great difference in helping ease their headaches and migraines over time.
There are numerous benefits that chiropractic care and treatment can provide, including:
- Short and long-term relief for headaches and migraines
- Identifies and resolves the causes of your headaches or migraines
- Improves quality of life
- Eases headaches and migraines through effective, drug-free techniques
- Improves nerve system functions
- Promotes healthy blood flow
- Promotes quicker healing
- Promotes a healthy lifestyle
- Enhances social health
- Enhances physical health and fitness
- Improves mental health stability
Know Your Triggers to Prevent Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and migraines are often triggered by many environmental, social, and even mental factors and stressors. A first step to understanding why you are suffering from headaches and migraines is to understand what causes them.
Each time you experience head pain, it is best to identify what is causing them. Different types of headaches mentioned above can be caused by different elements and stress points. Maybe you are experiencing headaches each time you are stressed at work, or it happens seasonally and might be an allergy or sinus headache. Whatever the cause, knowing your triggers is a good way to begin helping resolve your headache and migraines, and can also help your chiropractor better understand and make recommendations to an effective treatment plan for you.
Here are a few tips to help prevent headaches and migraines in your everyday life:
- Exercise regularly and take short breathers from the computer.
- Put the phone down. Staring at your phone for long periods of time can cause frequent headaches.
- Breathe. Mental stress can create massive headaches and migraines. Watch your breathing when something gets stressful.
- Eat well. Your diet causes more problems than you could imagine.
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes headaches especially after long nights out drinking or consuming large amounts of coffee.
- Stretch. It is difficult to constantly remember to stretch at work but staring at the computer screen for too long can cause tension headaches and neck pain.
- Meditate. Headaches and migraines can be caused by emotional and mental stress that leave you constantly paralyzed throughout your day. Learn effective ways of coping with life.
If you are new to chiropractic care options or are considering treatments to help with your headaches and migraines, speak to a Doctor of Chiropractic today. Your chiropractor will be able to explain your available options and how they can help while ensuring that your symptoms and cause of headaches are examined before administering any kind of treatment.
Working with a chiropractor can help explore the various options that can help get you back on track and take care of your headaches and migraines. Chiropractic offices are relaxing and provide a calming experience. You do not have to live with constant headaches and migraines. Speak to a chiropractor at CORE Chiropractic today.
Frequent headaches or migraines doesn't mean you are doomed to a life of pain.
Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, spinal decompression and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment online.