Chiropractic and Headaches

Woman experiencing a headache at work

Chiropractic treatment Can Often Help Your Headaches

Headaches are sometimes dismissed as ailments that can be easily fixed by taking a over-the-counter pain medication. Although this may be helpful for that once in a while headache, it's not always effective for chronic headaches. Pain relievers can also cause damage to the liver or kidney and other serious side effects if you take too many of them. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment offers a drug-free option.

Different kind of headaches:

Chiropractors often take care of patients who have these types of headaches:

  • Tension Headaches: Tension headaches occur when the muscles in your neck and head tighten and become too restricted. Some people feel tightness and pain in their forehead, or the pain may wrap around to the back one's head and neck. The headaches can be caused by stress, poor posture, or even flexing your head down at your cell phone for hours.
  • Migraine Headaches: Migraines are the sixth most disabling illness in the world.  They affect 18 percent of women, 6 percent of men and 10 percent of children in the U.S., according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Some of the symptoms are pain, nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity as well as other symptoms and can affect the quality of your life and make it difficult to work or care for your family.
  • Cluster Headaches: These extremely painful headaches typically occur on one side of the head and last several minutes to several hours. They're called "cluster" headaches because the sufferer usually get multiple headaches in one day. The headaches can disappear for months at a time and may reappear at the same times every year.

Chiropractors Treat Headaches

Treatments depend on the type of headache you have, but may include:

  • Spinal Adjustments: Adjusting the spine relieves pressure on your joints and nerves, realigns, improves blood flow, and helps relax tight muscles. Chiropractors use hands or instrument to apply quick, forceful pressure to the spinal bones. Spinal adjustments are very helpful if nerve irritation triggers your migraines or cluster headaches. Adjustments relieve pressure on your nerves, easing your pain and reducing the frequency of your headaches.
  • Spinal Mobilization: Spinal mobilization uses gentle, hands-on pressure that stretches the spine, improves joint movement, and helps reduce tension in the muscles between the vertebrae, as tense muscles can be an issue no matter what type of headache you experience, mobilization can be very helpful.
  • Massage: Massage is often included in treatment for headache pain. The therapy loosens tight muscles, improves range of motion, increases blood flow, and may help reduce the frequency of headaches. Regular massages also reduce stress, which can be a piece of the puzzle if you get tension headaches.

Your treatment plan might include a few other types of therapy, including ice and heat therapy.  Improving posture and muscle strengthening for your head and neck may also be helpful. Doctor's of chiropractic can prescribe exercises, and recommend ideas that will help you improve your posture, and provide advice about a healthy diet.

Effectiveness of Chiropractic

In the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care assessed the case of a 44-year old woman who suffered from headaches each day with no resolution from the use of pain medication. During her care regimen, spinal adjustment, ultrasound, and other therapies were used. After three months of care, her headache pain began to subside. The headaches were completely eliminated by six months.

Another case study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine, researchers discussed the case of a 31-year-old female migraines sufferer where they became chronic after two pregnancies. After chiropractic adjustments, she experienced fewer migraines. During the 10th month, she reported no migraines during the entire month.

Are you tired of living with headache or migraine pain? We can help you control your symptoms naturally. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

Migraine Research Foundation: About Migraine

https://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/migraine-facts/

American Chiropractic Association: Headaches and Chiropractic

https://www.acatoday.org/Patients/Health-Wellness-Information/Headaches-and-Chiropractic

NCBI: Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care: Long-Term Relief from Tension-Type Headache and Major Depression Following Chiropractic Treatment, May/June 2018

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069670/

Global Advances in Health and Medicine: Integrating Chiropractic Care into the Treatment of Migraine Headaches in a Tertiary Care Hospital: A Case Series, 3/28/19

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2164956119835778

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Yours in health,

Dr. Jeff Snyder

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