Headaches are by far one of the most common symptoms a person will face over the course of their lifetime. It is estimated that nine out of ten Americans suffer from regular headaches. For some, headaches are an occasional irritation or inconvenience. For others, it is a massive, life-effecting horror that leaves a person with little hope the pain and other related issues will ever improve. The ways in which headaches appear, their underlying causes, their sensations and level of pain, and the related symptoms that can be experienced vary greatly. The good news is that for most headaches, they do not require emergency medical care, and also many can be treated with proper chiropractic care.
Types of Headaches
There are many different causes for headaches from food allergies to subluxations that occur in the cranial, spinal, and pelvic structures. A Subluxation is a neurological issue that is caused by undue stress to the body from things including injury, trauma, prolonged stress, and other emotional disturbances. There are generally considered to be three differing types of headaches. Tension headaches are the significantly most common, followed by migraine and cluster headaches. Migraines occur due to the constriction of blood vessels in the brain,
followed by a dilation of blood vessels. It is not known for sure the reason for this, but it appears that the condition may be genetic. Also, certain triggers such as a lack of sleep, strong odors, and some foods can increase the likelihood of an attack. Cluster headaches are also caused by the blood vessels; however the likelihood of the headaches to occur several times in one day differentiates them from the migraine.
Estimates show that tension headaches are account for roughly 75% of all headaches. Furthermore, it’s been estimated that around 80% of headaches are caused by the structures in the neck area. There is a massive amount of research that has proven that chiropractic manipulation is a very effective option for the treatment of these tension headaches. In fact, studies have shown that spinal manipulation provides relief almost instantly, and the relief lasts much longer than medication.
Most tension headache sufferers experience an achy type pain that is constant and can be on one side of the head or both. One common experience is a dull pain behind the eyes and the pain most commonly increases slowly. The headaches can last anywhere from 20-30 minutes, to as long as several days without relief. It’s also most likely that the symptoms will appear mid-day toward the evening hours. The level of pain that tension headaches cause varies from a mild ache to severe. Without treatment, the headaches can persist for months; however do not typically cause other issues such as vomiting, a throbbing sensation, or nausea.
General stress can be a major cause of tension headaches, as well as poor posture that puts strain on the muscles and spine of the neck and upper back. Subluxations in the neck and upper back region, especially when there are trigger points present, are the most likely reason a tension headache occurs. Stress and strain on the muscles and joints can cause the vertebrae to slip from their regular position or motion. This slip leads to strain on the rectus capitis posterior minor (RCPM) muscle, which will begin to spasm. A tendon of the RCPM muscle leads up between the neck and the base of the skull, and attaches to the dura matter. The dura matter is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds the brain, and is extremely sensitive to pain. As the muscle spasm pulls on the dura matter, the dura matter reacts and the sensation of pain is experienced.
More serious injuries and trauma that leads to other problems including whiplash, may also have trigger points in the muscles on the side of the neck. The muscle group, called the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) or levator muscle, can cause a number of other symptoms as a result of the damage to the muscle tissue there.
Chiropractic care can be a help for most headaches including cluster headaches and migraines, however has shown to be especially effective for treating tension headaches. First, an examination and questions will be completed to learn more about the headaches and what the root cause may be. The questions will include things like when they are most common, what are the physical sensations, and even what your lifestyle is like. This consultation will help determine the best course of treatment for your specific headache issues. Treatment may include adjustments, soft tissue therapy, posture correction and other exercises, and education about how to help prevent future flares.
Accelerate Chiropractic Can Relieve Your Headaches!
At Accelerate Chiropractic
, we are able to educate you on the issues causing your headaches, and we work closely with you to regain pain-free comfort. Dr. Dave Yancey and Dr. Erika Yancey are passionate about providing treatment that gets you back on your feet comfortably. Learn about our experience
and contact us
today to schedule your personalized consultation. It’s time to reclaim the freedom that comes with mobility and comfort through Accelerate Chiropractic’s care.