Chiropractic Care Can Help Those Who Experience Chronic Headaches
Like backaches, headaches can ruin your day, whether they are dull and throbbing or are so painful you must retreat to bed. Shelves full of OTC and prescription pain relievers are available, but research studies indicate that spinal manipulation from a chiropractor is a more effective and long-lasting remedy. In contrast, taking medication to relieve headache pain can trap you in a cycle that puts unneeded chemicals in your body without offering a lasting solution.
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches can be indicators of serious medical conditions, but only about 5% of headaches result from disease. The remaining 95% come from muscle tension in the neck. When you are sedentary, during such activities as working at the computer or lounging before the TV in your off time, your nerves become irritated and you start feeling muscle tension in the back and scalp. Some headaches may originate from the neck and refer pain to your head.
To reduce the risks of headaches, there are a few things that you can do. Try taking a stretch break every 30 to 60 minutes, or make sure you walk or do aerobic exercise during the day. If you try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day, you can prevent dehydration, which is sometimes a factor in headaches.
Headache Help From Your Chiropractor
Aside from these common sense habits, a chiropractor can help you with headaches as well. Through spinal manipulation otherwise known as a chiropractic adjustments, the doctor can better align your spine and relieve stress. Not all headaches are alike, so the chiropractor’s approach might differ among patients.
If you have a cervicogenic headache in your neck or a migraine headache caused by changes in vascular flow, a chiropractor can manipulate your neck and spine to reduce nerve irritation and improve blood flow. Studies have shown that migraine sufferers have fewer migraines with chiropractic treatment. Why? Many migraine sufferers have spinal misalignments that contribute to their problems.
In addition to manipulating the spinal column and back with his hands, the chiropractor might also use other techniques such as Active Release Techniques, trigger point therapy, heat, or massage to relieve the problem. By doing some stretching exercises and changing your posture, you can prolong the effects of your chiropractic visit.
Advice For Healthy Living
Since your chiropractic practitioner is well-versed in other techniques of healthy living, he can also suggest diet modifications for you and recommend some B-complex vitamins. Headaches are often triggered by foods, environment, and behavior, so he can also talk with you about your work and lifestyle and suggest ways to improve your posture, add exercise and relaxation techniques to your day, and assume more ergonomic positions when you sit and stand.
Some chronic headaches are related to other conditions that have nothing to do with the spine. You should freely discuss the type, duration, position, and timing of your headaches with your chiropractor. He should do physical orthopedic and neurological tests to see your headaches result from something other than a cervical subluxation, and refer you to another medical professional if the results indicate other problems.