Headaches are one of the most common health disorders. According to the World Health Organization, 50 to 75 percent of people ages 18 – 65 have experienced a headache in the last year. The regularity of headaches make many people believe they are a normal part of life. In actuality, a headache could be a warning sign of deeper health issues and should not be ignored. How can a chiropractor help relieve pain from headaches?
Types of Headaches
Headaches fall into three categories: Primary, secondary and cranial neuralgias. Those not caused by another medical condition are primary headaches, including tension, cluster and migraines. A headache that is caused by another disorder, for instance sinusitis or a neck injury, is secondary. Lastly, cranial neuralgia is a severe form of facial pain, often caused by nerve irritation or damage.
About 90 percent of headaches are primary tension, potentially caused by stress, poor posture and spinal misalignment. These key factors can be addressed by a chiropractor to ease the pain and frequency of headaches.
Headaches & The Spine
Spinal misalignments can be the result of development issues, trauma or repetitive stress to the spine. If a vertebrae moves out of normal alignment, this shift causes excessive pressure on the surrounding nerves. In response to this compression, the back, neck and jaw muscles tighten and lead to headache. This tension can pull the spine even further out of alignment, causing chronic headaches.
Chiropractors identify and address the root of the problem, rather than masking headache symptoms. Pain medication is a temporary solution that can actually exacerbate headaches by causing a “rebound effect”. Medication overuse desensitizes our pain receptors until the chemicals wear off, when they become hypersensitive. As a result, you may feel the need to increase your medication intake and frequency but experience little pain relief.
Treatment for Headaches
Researchers have discovered that dura mater, the sensitive membrane covering our brains, is affixed to small muscles in the neck. Based on a study of 6,000 headache sufferers, neck injury was a common link.
If you sit for long periods or lack physical activity, you may experience neck and back pain. Gentle adjustments can address these misalignments by relieving stress on your muscles and, most importantly, nerve tissue. Our team can also provide postural tips, relaxation techniques and nutritional advice. In particular, foods with high salt content, caffeine and alcohol can be headache triggers.
Chiropractic is a safe and natural way to reduce headaches. A doctor at The Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury can perform a full physical assessment to evaluate your overall spinal function and take X-rays to assess your spinal alignment. Contact us to make an appointment today!