Is that nagging headache making your day a challenge?

In this crazy paced world, our bodies are often out of balance and nagging headaches have become common ailments that some of us, sadly more than others, suffer from. However, all of us at some point “feel the pain”. Head pain can range from a bothersome annoyance to a crippling debilitation depending on the degree of severity. Read on to learn about the different kinds of headaches and how chiropractic care can help to alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by them.

What’s causing your headache pain?

It’s important to identify what triggers the varying kinds of headaches you could be suffering from to allow the best diagnosis and treat the source of the problem. With so many reasons for a headache, listening to your body is important.

Certain types of food, caffeine, medication or even artificial scents can cause pain.  They can be chemically triggered i.e. menstrual cycle related or physically triggered by stress, tension or sleeping positions (for example when the body is awkwardly stuck in the same position for too long or when a bed is too soft and un-supporting).

The most common headache is…

With sedentary lifestyles and stress levels on the rise, tension headaches are easily the most common of all headaches. These headaches feel like a dull ache or pressure around the head and are often directly caused by muscle tension in the neck. Muscle tension is the most notorious cause of this type of headache, a common complaint: “I felt a pull in my neck and I’ve got a throbbing headache!”.

What kind of headache are you suffering from?

Migraine
Migraine headaches are a particularly debilitating type of headache. They tend to come in waves or “episodes” and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Migraines are usually diagnosed based on their longevity and regularity. They come with moderate or severe throbbing pain that usually are only on one side of the head and often make routine activity almost inconceivable.  Other associated symptoms include nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and visual distortion or in extreme cases, hand numbness.

Cluster
Without known cause, cluster headaches are recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles with severe debilitating pain on one side of the head. These are often accompanied by watery eye and nasal congestion on the affected side of the face.

Sinus
Sinus headaches are caused by inflammation of the sinus often due to an infection causing pain, fever and often times puss in the sinuses. These headaches can also be seasonal as allergies increase. Symptoms of sinus headaches may also include a stuffy nose, drainage or ear pain.

Rebound
In contrast, rebound headaches are caused by an overuse of painkillers, both prescription drugs and over the counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. So for some people they will actually get a headache from taking medication to try and stop it!

I don’t want to take pain medication all the time!

Chiropractic care should be our first port of call for a holistic, low cost, effective alternative in alleviating headache pain.

How can a chiropractor help your headaches?

A licensed chiropractor can help considerably. Chiropractors look at the spine, making sure all the vertebrae (bones of your spine) are aligned and moving properly. This sends positive feedback to your brain, decreasing pain signals and muscle tension. There are many research articles showing that spinal manipulation and adjustments performed by a chiropractor, may be a very effective treatment option for migraines, tension headaches and other headaches.

How does manipulating the spine help my headache?

By aligning the spine, the surrounding muscles can function properly. Muscles should be like a rubber band with a nice bounce throughout the muscle. When one side of the muscle is “stuck” because of a “stuck” bone they no longer have the right elasticity. When muscles become too tight, they create a pulling sensation that irritates surrounding nerves and therefore causes pain.  Equally if they are too loose, other adjoining muscles tighten to help stabilize the area, which then also leads to nerve irritation and pains in our head and neck.

Headaches are common for kids too!

In addition to the general adult population, both tension headaches and migraines are surprisingly common amongst children with around 20% of the pediatric population between 5 to 17 years old having experienced them.  The difficulty lies in that there are very few drugs approved or recommended for use by children for the treatment of headache pain which is why it is important that parents turn to less invasive measures like chiropractic care.

Headaches during pregnancy can be troublesome.

Similarly, pregnant women often suffer in silence, unable to subdue pain without medication which could potentially be hazardous to their pregnancy.

“No pain, plenty to gain!”.

We all have plenty of daily challenges to overcome, so don’t let headache pain become another of those challenges.

Schedule an appointment today!

Ready to stop dealing with chronic headaches and start living a pain free life? Schedule online today. Dr. Elyssa Wright has worked with hundreds of patients to facilitate good health. Her goal when treating you is to look at the whole person and find balance, allowing you to live your life to the fullest. Each patient receives an individualized chiropractic treatment plan designed to get the best results possible – as quickly as possible.


References

American Chiropractic Association
ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association): (General Chiro Research List)
ICPA (Kids and headaches PDF)