Headaches… Chances are you have had to deal with them at some point; 9 out of 10 Americans report that they suffer from headaches. They are certainly no fun to deal with and they can come in so many different forms. From your basic light headache to pain behind the eyes and throbbing to extremely painful bouts that cause nausea, some of us are luckier than others when it comes to dealing with headaches. Some patients suffer from occasional moderate pain while some have lived with chronic debilitating migraines for the majority of their lives. There are many different causes for different kinds of headaches. Things like certain foods or drinks, bright lights or loud sounds and of course stress or lack of sleep are all typical triggers for headaches, while some headaches seem to have no traceable trigger. Only about 5% of headaches are considered a symptom or warning signs of/caused by physical issues with the body such as disease. The other 95% of headaches fall under “primary” headaches, where the actual headache is the primary issue of concern.
These “primary” headaches, such as your tension, migraine or cluster varieties are typically associated with muscle tension in the neck. Our modern lifestyle with more extended periods of time sitting at desks or on the couch can lead to irritation of the joints of the neck and cause the muscles around the neck and base of the skull to tighten up, causing headaches. Just like everything else we talk about involving ergonomics, taking breaks and doing stretches is a crucial part of preventing pain and inflammation. Take breaks every hour at work to give your neck and upper back a stretch and help prevent basic headaches. Besides taking breaks and stretching the neck as preventative measures, Chiropractic Care can be one of your best tools to help fight headaches. The use of Chiropractic adjustments has been clinically shown to help relieve discomfort of migraine and cervicogenic headaches.
Chiropractic adjustments of the neck and back will help to realign your spine and relieve stress on the muscles and tissues around your spine. With the spine realigned and the surrounding muscles not tightened in “protection mode” of the spine, the amount of stress on the area decreases and that restores nerve conduction and can help relieve pain of headaches. Chiropractors can also help you by educating you about proper ergonomics, stretches and exercises to help strengthen and stretch the right muscles and tissues to help prevent future headaches. Massage Therapy and Laser Therapy are also great options that have shown promise for lowering stress and inflammation that can cause headaches.