Headache Relief with Chiropractic
(Sometimes headaches are symptoms of a more serious condition. Please consult your physician.)
It seems that everyone gets a headache at some point in their life. While minor, infrequent headaches are easier to deal with, recurring and more severe headaches can negatively impact our quality of life. Rather than relying on pain medications to treat the symptoms, many people are turning to natural headache remedies, including chiropractic care.
Causes of Headache
Most headaches are the result of a problem that starts in the neck where sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head become irritated. Knots in our neck and shoulder area can also radiate up into the head and result in headache.
Stress, fatigue and sleep are key contributors to headache. Poor nutrition can also cause headache, as well as eating foods that contain certain ingredients known to be headache triggers, such as tyramine (found in alcohol and processed meats), nitrites (found in cured meats), MSG, and aspartame. Many people find that changes in the weather also trigger headaches. Sitting in the same position all day (like working at a computer) can also cause joint and muscle irritation resulting in headaches.
Types of Headaches
Tension Headaches are the most common type of headache and are caused by muscular contractions in the head, neck and shoulders. These headaches can last several hours or several days. These contractions are typically the result of stress that has not been resolved.
Cluster Headaches are more rare and tend to strike at night or early in the morning and mostly affect older men. Pain is usually described as non-throbbing pain on one side of the head, usually behind the eye or at the temple.
Sinus Headaches are described as throbbing around the eyes. Sinus headaches are common after a cold or as a result of allergies. They tend to be worse in the morning and are felt more when bending over.
Migraine Headaches are intense, throbbing pain in the temple, forehead, eyes and are often accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity. Not all headaches are migraines and you should check with your doctor to be sure you are suffering from a migraine.
Cervicogenic Headaches occur when pain starts in the neck and is felt in the forehead or in the area around the eyes. People suffering from cervicogenic headaches can experience restricted range of motion as well as neck pain, arm pain or shoulder pain.
Treatment for Headaches
Exploring alternative treatments for headaches can help you find relief without relying on prescription drugs. Chiropractic adjustments for headache can decrease the frequency and severity of some types of headaches. Regular chiropractic care can help avoid the muscular contractions in the neck, head and shoulder areas that lead to headache pain.
Prevention is also an important part of a headache treatment plan. Important things to keep in mind to prevent headaches include:
- Staying hydrated
- Stretching throughout the day
- Managing your stress – ensure you have a plan for relaxation and “de-stressing”
- Adjusting your diet, eliminating foods that trigger headaches
- Getting adjusted regularly
Chiropractic adjustments gently realign the bones in your spine, which decrease nerve irritation and inflammation. This helps to reduce headache pain.
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