Headache is one of the most common illnesses in Australia, with around 15 per cent of us taking painkillers for a headache at any given time.
Because headaches are so common, most people think they are a normal part of life. However, a persistent headache is a sign that something is wrong. The continual use of pain medication to combat headaches is akin to removing the warning light that alerts you to a problem in your car! Medication doesn’t solve your headache, it simply offers a short term solution to dull the pain.
Types of Headache
Tension headaches and migraine are the most common forms of headache and cluster headaches are most rare. Other types of headache include sinus headache, rebound headache and exertion headache.
Causes of Headache
Headaches can result due to a variety of reasons including stress, poor posture, accidents, medications, environmental factors such as strong odours & pollution and dietary irregularities.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked cause of migraine and tension headache is due to nerve irritation in the upper neck caused by poorly functioning spinal joints – Vertebral dysfunction. Since the nerves of the upper neck supply areas of the scalp and face, irritation to these nerves can and often lead to headache.
Assessment of Headache
Your [site_profession] will carefully analyse potential headache triggers and perform a detailed history, orthopaedic, neurological and spinal examination to determine the cause of your headache. Further diagnostic testing such as XRay or MRI may also be required. Upon arriving at a specific diagnosis, your care can begin.
Relief From Headache
Chiropractic treatment is an extremely effective treatment for headaches. By carefully restoring proper movement to the spinal joints of the neck, your [site_profession] is able to significantly reduce the presence of nerve irritation and muscle tension helping to alleviate the cause of your headaches.
Chronic Headaches and Migraines
If you’re a sufferer of chronic headaches or migraines, you don’t need convincing that they’re one of the most painful, debilitating conditions you could possibly suffer. Millions upon millions of dollars a year are spent on trying to find relief from this crippling illness. But what causes migraines? Basically it’s a decrease in oxygen to the brain. If the brain receives less oxygen per milliliter of blood, it will simply increase the amount of blood flow to increase the overall amount of oxygen received. In order to increase the amount of blood flow it must dilate the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain.
When these vessels dilate, it stretches pain fibres that wrap around the outside of these vessels. When these pain fibres are stretched they are activated and start sending pain signals into the brain, resulting in your perception of pain.
Headaches and migraines may also be caused by a misalignment or dysfunction of a vertebra in the top of the neck. This then causes inflammation and tension of the joints, muscles and blood vessels at the base of the neck, which then transfers pain up into the skull.
So what can chiropractic do to help? By performing gentle but specific adjustments to the neck and upper back we restore the normal alignment and function of the vertebrae in the neck, which removes the tension that causes headache and migraine symptoms. As well as removing the tension, the inflammation around the joints, muscles and blood vessels is decreased and the pain fibres begin to be deactivated.
177 volunteers who had been suffering neck pain and migraines for over 18 years entered a study. All of those who received chiropractic care were able to reduce their medication intake, with a significant number reducing their intake to zero. Additionally, 59% reported no neck pain after 2 months, and another 35% had a significant decrease in neck pain.
This is not the only study to show these results; there have been dozens more which all show similar outcomes.
There are other factors that contribute to headaches, but these figures, and chiropractors’ everyday experiences show that neck problems are a huge contributor.
Do you suffer from headaches or migraines? The answer may be simple. Come in and see what we can do.