Chiropractic Care and Headaches
Intro to Headaches
Headaches are an incredibly common occurrence for the majority of us and in accordance with the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), 90 percent of individuals will experience at least one annoyance in the next year. Within this guide we’ll be talking about the top four concerns, which comprise 95 percent of all headaches, but until we do there is a significant point we want to create: headaches are a nuisance, no one would disagree with this statement, but they’re also a signal from our bodies communicating vital information; taking the opportunity to assess the body is sending us that this sign is essential in breaking the cycle of handling the signs of a headache rather than the root cause. There is not any error in wanting to escape pain and in taking drugs out of time-to-time, but taking medications on a regular basis for symptoms which pop up frequently is ignoring the vital message sent out of our bodies and, at the very least, keeping us in a condition of living our lives around pain instead of omitting the pain out of our lives completely.
Headaches are as unique as you or I and come in many shapes and sizes. The four most frequent headaches people experience are:
- Tension Headache
- Cluster Headache
- Migraine Headache
- Sinus Headache
What can Chiropractic do for Headaches?
Better alignment of the spine, which translates and less pain-helping those with headaches and TMJ, one of many other states
A decision surrounding food and nutrition-knowing which foods to take in and foods contribute to pain and headaches is important in addressing the cause of your headaches.
A more perfect ergonomic regimen for your organization, helping put you at a posture that will help you avoid pain and headaches.
Anxiety management is also a factor present to all four of the most common headaches.
Band-like pain which starts at the bottom of the skull and wraps its way round the head-this pain is related to increased strain from the muscles in the shoulder, neck, and head.
The pain is typically worse in the end of the day and can occur daily, as this aggravation is related to daily stresses which can be imposed on us with great regularity.
Tension Headaches comprise 90% of headaches.
The most common cause of tension headache is anxiety from lack of movement, keeping yourself in a position of poor posture for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis (e.g. bad office ergonomics)
Tension headaches may also be related to a stressful psychological or bodily event and to TMJ/TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) from gritting your teeth or strain in the joint out of joint misalignment from the temporomandibular joint (jaw)
Chiropractic Is quite effective for patients with Tension Headaches and many other headaches because of this matter, as it aids in relieving tension from the throat, shoulders, and mind That’s often a principal contributor to headaches; chiropractic is also Perfect for curing the effects of TMJ as this can be because of joint misalignment (subluxation) and tight muscles in the jaw area
Better ergonomics and posture is crucial if your work environment is the offender for your headaches; consider using a palates’ ball at your work station to improve posture and strengthen core muscles
Stretching and exercises for the neck, shoulders, and head can improve posture and decrease pain from strain and other headaches, since prolonged immobility is really a big Element in muscle tightness and spasm
Other holistic therapies, such as massage and acupuncture, has been proven successful in relieving tension from the neck and spine associated with tension headaches too
Non-throbbing pain which is located across the eye area, resulting in dripping and sinus drainage, and frequently waking the sufferer at nighttime.
These headaches occur several days in a row, lasting for minutes to hours, for up to a few weeks; they then move away for a time period just to reemerge at a later date (episodic pain)
Most Frequent causes are alcohol and vasodilating drugs (drugs which cause arteries to expand, such as nitroglycerine).
Other causes include: cigarette smoke and nicotine, hydrocarbon exposure (e.g. perfumes, exhaust from automobiles, etc.), sleep or lack of sleep, dehydration and (of course) anxiety.
Avoiding alcohol and certain drugs which may be triggering these headaches; avoidance of environmental triggers (smoke, perfumes, etc.); and stress management
Drinking Lots of water-dehydration may have a significant effect on cluster headaches
Oxygen therapy, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven successful for bunch headaches-even aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce duration and intensity of cluster headaches because it raises oxygen saturation in the body
Tension in the neck, shoulders, and head is often present with cluster headaches and chiropractic care can help alleviate a Few of the symptoms associated with cluster headaches
Migraines are usually on one side of their mind, but can be on either sides-the pain is pulsating or throbbing in nature and may lead to: nausea and vomiting, a desire to avoid lights or loud noises, malaise, and visual disturbances
In the majority of instances there is increased muscle tension within the shoulders, neck, and bottom of the skull which contribute to the signs and manifestation of pain.
There is a genetic connection with migraines; however, environmental factors are often the triggers for migraine headaches.
Environmental variables and psychological factors can play a role too, such as exhaust from automobiles, smoke, scents, and anxiety or stressful events in our lives.
Discovering the foods, chemicals, stresses and other factors which trigger migraines is vital; note what you were doing or what ecological factors were at play 24 hours prior to having a migraine.
Creating a pattern for when you encounter migraines is the key to limiting their occurrence.
Cayenne pepper has been proven successful in limiting pain associated with migraines since it releases endorphins in the brain, natural pain-killers. Magnesium and riboflavin have also shown promise in controlling headaches.
Proper alignment of the cervical and occipital cervical spine will also help to reduce tension and strain on the spine and skull, reducing headaches.
As a side note it was believed that migraines were caused by changes to blood flow in the body (vascular changes), however it is now considered that migraines are caused by neurological fluctuations or changes inside the mind itself, which Is why a lot of drugs used to treat migraines for many years were, sometimes, really causing headaches and other symptoms together with continued patient use.
Achy or dull pain that’s caused by pressure within the sinus areas from the face-often impacting one side worse than the other.
There may be accompanying sinus drainage with aggravation as well as also the Potential for fever when the sinus headache is related to disease.
Common causes may be indoor or outdoor inhalants. Outdoor triggers include: pollen, ragweed, and exhaust; indoor Aspects include: dust, smoke, chemicals, mold, and other contaminants out of concentrated air recycled through ventilation systems
Allergens can also expand to foods, resulting in sinus headaches and sinusitis-such as dairy products and some other refined food (especially refined sugar since it feeds bacteria and fungus and weakens the immune system)
Sinus headaches can also be illness-related, as in the case of sinus infections or sinusitis (from viral, bacterial, or fungal invaders)
Increasing water intake (especially hot water) is an excellent means to get the sinuses mucus and clear flowing out of the sinus region (water has natural expectorant properties).
Also look at using a Neti pot to clean the sinus passages decreasing congestion and the effects of allergens and other nasal irritants.
If your headaches are the result of indoor irritants, consider opening a window to circulate the atmosphere, clean your home or work-station on a normal basis, or think about getting a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the atmosphere (ionic filters produce ozone as a byproduct and can irritant the lungs, so HEPA is your preferred air purification method). Dust covers for your bedding and air venting filters are effective means to enhance air quality and limit exposure to a lot of triggers.
For outdoor allergens, consider taking a broad-spectrum antioxidant, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding common allergenic foods (dairy, corn, wheat, and soy are among the most common allergenic foods) which can be placing an increased burden on your body’s ability to handle allergy season
There are numerous in the alternative health community that tout cleanses (especially liver cleanses) since the only way to truly beat the effects of allergies and environmental irritants, but if you choose to go this route please make sure you are under the oversight of a qualified caregiver.