Headache Treatment Using Chiropractic
Headaches Causes &Treatment
What causes headaches?
Headaches can range from slightly unpleasant to highly uncomfortable and in some cases affect our ability to think straight. As chiropractors we are particularly interested in muscular-skeletal imbalances through things like poor posture or structural changes and neurological imbalances caused by nerve impingement or disruption. The latter reduces brain body communication and can cause nerve irritation which can cause pain to radiate out to other areas such as the head. In extreme cases a severe headache may progress into a migraine.
All of us will experience a bit of headache at some point, it’s almost inevitable. When we experience headaches on a regular basis it makes sense to have this examined further because headaches are a sign of some type of imbalance. It’s not normal to have headaches in a perfectly healthy and balanced state.
Because headaches can impact our brain performance and decision making process it’s particularly relevant to do what we can to stay headache-free.
How headaches can be diagnosed?
Headaches are one of those imbalances that is pretty straightforward to self-diagnose in most cases; we all recognise when we’re having one. There are of course a number of things that can cause a headache, which is why we like to conduct a full initial chiropractic assessment, to identify the root cause.
We start the process by taking down key details of your medical and family history. We do a full postural assessment, measure weight distribution between the left and right side, take posture pictures to analyse how close or far you are from healthy alignment. We may take x-rays (If clinically required) so we can have a close up look at the structure. Other things we do is manually palpate and test the joints to assess mechanical performance and test nerve function to see if it’s being disrupted. Inflammation levels are also carefully measured so we can identify areas where the body is struggling.
Thanks to our clinical experience we can combine the above data to arrive at a root cause diagnosis, key for the formulation of effective treatment.
Note: If you’re headaches occur every other day and have been for at least 3 months your headache is considered chronic.
What are the symptoms of headaches?
The most common symptoms that patients come to see us with are:
Tenderness on your scalp
Dull, aching head pain
Pain in the jaw.
Sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead
Sensation of tightness or on the sides and back of your head
Tenderness of your neck and shoulder muscles
There are many over-the-counter remedies that ease the feeling of a headache. The most effective type of headache treatment however would focus on eliminating the root cause of the headache rather than only trying to eliminate the symptoms.
Many times patients come to see us with chronic or persistent headaches and we first conduct a thorough root cause diagnosis during our initial check-up. After uncovering the imbalance that is contributing to the headache we work on restoring proper alignment and function. Allowing the muscles and joints to return to a healthy state is achieved by optimising the nervous system. This is done through the skilful application of corrective chiropractic adjustments. This accelerates healing, improves brain-body communicating and helps correct muscular-skeletal imbalances so the body can recover.
What’s the best exercise to for headaches?
There are many valuable stretches and exercises that your chiropractor can provide. Please speak to your designated chiropractor as he will have all the facts from the initial check-up to guide you. If you haven’t had your initial complete chiropractic check-up done yet go and book this first. In the meantime you may want to restrain from strenuous exercise and lighten the intensity of your work-outs untill you feel better.
Should I be concerned about my headaches?
If they came on after an impact trauma or very suddenly and you don’t normally have them, it would be a good idea to visit your GP.
Can I be adjusted whilst I have a headache?
Yes in most cases this will be perfectly fine. Make sure that if you do visit you can do so safely. If you’re headache is really bad you may want to get a taxi or get someone to drive you to the clinic. In fact it can help relieve some of the symptoms naturally and ease any pressure or tension you’re feeling.
Are headaches hereditary?
In the case of migraines 80-90% of people have someone in the family who does so there seems to be a strong correlation. In the case of headaches there isn’t enough evidence to confirm if they are hereditary. The good news is that chiropractic does seem to be quite effective in reducing the frequency and in some cases eliminating headaches. In any case treatment is very individual and varies from person to person so regardless of family history let’s find out the root cause and most importantly discuss what we can do about it.