Headaches don't usually originate in your head - they are most often a neck problem. They are referred to as cervicogenic headaches, and that means they are coming from your neck.
With so much time spent on computers, driving, and looking down at our phones -- it's no wonder we have poor posture, neck problems, and, ultimately, headaches.
Some people will spend years taking medications and battling with debilitating pain -- but there is help available. Below you will find some tips and more information about how chiropractic care can help you finally say goodbye to your headache pain.
What you do all day has a significant impact on the health of your neck. Do you sit at a computer all day? How are your workstation ergonomics? One of the easiest things you can do that will make a big difference is raise the height of your monitor.
If you're working on a laptop, you're heading for trouble. You cannot have good posture when working on a laptop unless you use a separate laptop stand with an external keyboard and mouse. Use your laptop like a monitor and get it raised up -- or headaches are on their way!
Anything you do repeatedly or for extended periods should be evaluated to have a good posture position. Make sure your sleep position is good, and take a hard look at any activities you find yourself doing daily or often. You'll want to make sure your head and neck are in a position that will not continue to aggravate your spine.
Patients can often make the connection to their neck being involved with their tension headaches. They will try massaging or rubbing their neck to "loosen it up." They may even try stretching their necks. The most common way people stretch their necks is completely wrong based on their daily activities.
They will look down and then pull down on their head to stretch the back of their head and neck. The problem? That area is already too long based on frequently sitting at the computer, driving, and looking down at your phone. The neck does not need to be stretched at the back, it needs to get stronger.
Making your posterior (back) neck muscles stronger, while maybe stretching the front of your neck, will improve your ability to hold your head up all day. Being able to hold your head up decreases the tension at the back of your head and decreases the intensity and frequency of the most common type of headaches; cervicogenic headaches.
Chiropractic looks to the areas of the spine that may be stuck, out of alignment, or both. The chiropractor will then use their hands to gently move that bone back into its proper location to restore function, movement, and normal position. This allows the muscles to relax and allows you to move your head back into the proper alignment.
While it would be great if you could just receive the one adjustment and never need it again, that's just not how our body works. It's likely you've had this problem (not just the symptom) for a long period of time, which has caused changes to your muscles. It takes a little bit of time for your muscles to change and adapt to allow you to have more lasting relief.
You will also return right back to all of the activities that lead to this problem in the first place. However, a combination of chiropractic adjustments, specific posture exercises, stretches, and modifications to any of your daily activities which may be contributing to the problem. Continuing to take medications to cover up your symptoms will not improve your health and does not address the cause of your headaches. Only you can make a lasting change, but chiropractic care can help!