Chiropractic Treatment and Headaches

Out of everyone who visits a chiropractor for treatment, it has been estimated that a quarter of them are seeking relief from headaches and apparently, the chiropractic treatment provided for such a condition is very successful. It is generally thought that chiropractic treatment is so effective in the treatment of headaches as they are often caused by issues to do with the soft tissue or are neurologic. Many of the soft tissues associated with causing headaches are located in the neck. This is a significant area of focus of many chiropractors as they work in manipulating the spine (which include the neck). Not only is chiropractic treatment often deemed effective in the relief of painful headaches, it also allows patients to undergo treatment without taking medication that may only last a short while – chiropractic treatment is good in the long run.

Causes of headaches

Numerous things can lead to the formation of a headache. These triggers can vary from certain food types to environmental issues, such as noise and stress, as well as behavioural stimuli like a rapid change in blood sugar or exercising too much.

Primary headaches can account for about 95% of all headaches being suffered. They are defined as “primary” as they are not indicating any other physical problems, the issue itself is the actual headache. Primary headaches can fall into three main categories:

  • Migraine – These tend to affect one side of the head and are often extremely painful. Along with this pain, other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, blurry vision and light sensitivity. This type of primary headache can be very debilitating and is significantly more prevalent in women than in men.
  • Tension – This type of headache often can be felt through the head as a whole or sometimes just in the back of the head and the related pain is mild/moderate. It tends to be caused by the sufferer being feeling tense and stressed. The pain tends to be rather dull and can often be felt at its optimum when moving the head.
  • Cluster – These headaches are the least common form of primary headaches. They can be very painful and occur when there is an accumulation of headaches occurring at the same time. These headaches often start very suddenly and last about 30-45 minutes. During this time, the headaches cause a lot of pain, and they can occur on and off throughout the day (or even a longer period of time).

The remaining 5% of headaches are often signals that are warning you of a further physical problem that should be addressed.

How you can relieve/prevent headaches

If you spend a significant amount of time in a certain, fixed position if you are working at a computer or reading a book etc., then you should ensure that every half an hour you take a break and stretch your body out. By stretching out the body, you should also be manoeuvring your head and neck in a comfortable fashion to prevent the build up of tension.

Another method that may help prevent the occurrence of a headache is to perform low-impact exercises. These can often relieve primary headache-related pains. These exercises should include activities such as light aerobics or a casual walk. You should avoid doing any heavy exercise if you tend to get tension headaches where the pain is often dull and throbbing throughout your head.

People clenching their teeth cause many tension headaches. This is because when the upper and lower teeth are in contact, the joints that connect you jaw to your skull become stressed. This can cause irritation, which often leaded to tension headaches. To avoid this, try to ensure that your top and bottom teeth never touch (unless swallowing or eating).

Finally is a suggestion that is commonly made to people who suffer from frequent headaches. Many headaches are caused by dehydration so you should always ensure that every day you are consuming at least eight glasses of water.

Chiropractic treatment for headaches

If the above techniques do not appear to work in relieving your headaches, it may be advised that you attend a chiropractic clinic and have a consultation with a chiropractor. They can then recommended a course of treatment that is aimed at providing long-term relief from you headaches.

If you suffer from primary headaches, your chiropractor may manipulate and adjust the bones in your spine to try and improve the spinal column’s functioning as well as relieving the stress on your nervous system. Alternatively (or in conjunction), they may provide you with information in regards to your nutritional intake. This advice often includes the recommendation that you change your diet whilst incorporating more vitamin B complexes. The final key piece of advice the chiropractor may then administer is in terms of your posture, exercise regime and methods of relaxation. This advice will help ensure that your joints are not repetitively irritated whilst relieving neck and upper back muscle tension.

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