Often when people think of chiropractic care, they think of it for relief of back pain. But whenever the body is out of balance, it can signal this imbalance anywhere, including the head. A headache is defined as any type of pain in the head, scalp, or neck. They can be mild, moderate, or severe, occasional or chronic. One thing they all have in common is the misery they bring.
First let’s look at the different types of headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common. In fact, approximately 90 percent of women and 70 percent of men are estimated to experience them at some point in their lives. They’re called “tension” headaches because they are most often the result of tight muscles in the neck and scalp due to stress and poor posture.
Migraines are the next most-common type of headache. According the the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 12 percent of Americans experience migraines regularly. They’re also the most severe, sometimes beginning with the warning sign of a flashing light in the vision, called an “aura.” They are normally confined to one side of the head, and the pain is intense and throbbing. They can last several days. So-called “sinus headaches,” in which pain is focused on the sinuses, are actually migraines.
Less common are cluster headaches, which are usually severe, located on one side of the head, and focused on one of the eyes.
Headaches can also be associated with other more serious physical conditions, including brain tumors and aneurysms, which is why any unusual headache should always be evaluated by a physician. Sudden, extreme headaches warrant an immediate trip to the emergency room.
Your chiropractic physicians at The Medical Group of South Florida, in Jupiter, Florida, can address your headache pain as well as the other types of chronic pains you may experience. Chiropractic is a proven solution for headache pain. In fact, once more serious underlying causes have been ruled out, headaches are one area that readily lend themselves to complimentary alternative medical approaches.
When you come to us with this issue, we will have an extensive interview with you, exploring your medical history as well as your lifestyle, and investigate your symptoms, their onset, duration, and any other associated symptoms. We will also consult with the other fine physicians and specialists here at MGSFL to rule out other treatable medical conditions that may underlie your headaches.
Especially in these days of the widespread opioid epidemic, it’s important that you know of the myriad alternatives to drug treatment of headaches. We will go over these with you and help you find the best approach for you.
Here are some possible non-drug ways to treat headaches.
For tension headaches, caffeine is a recognized remedy. If you’re not a regular coffee or tea drinker, caffeine can constrict the blood vessels in the head, thus relieving the pain. Ice has the same effect. Others find relief with the application of heat, because it relaxes the tight muscles that are triggering the headaches. A heat pack, a hot shower, or a heating pad applied to the shoulders and neck can often work. Some have found relief through the application of diluted lavender oil to the temples. Sometimes even changing your pillow, from soft to firm or vice versa, can relieve overnight headaches.
Other effective forms of stress relief that can alleviate chronic headaches include meditation, tai chi, yoga, and massage. Biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and acupuncture have also helped some sufferers.
For migraines, an exploration of diet is often enough to uncover triggers. As with other types of headaches, lifestyle plays a role, too. In addition, Botox treatments have been found to offer remarkable relief from migraine headaches, even for children.
Finally, we have found that chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulation can not only provide immediate relief for headache pain, but also serve to prevent headaches. When you receive chiropractic care from us, it will correct your posture to allow for better breathing habits as well as reduced tension in your neck, back, and shoulders, thus relieving as well as preventing headaches.
If you suffer from chronic headache pain, you may not have thought of chiropractic care to relieve your suffering. If not, you should, because it’s a recognized remedy for most types of chronic headaches.