Headaches are an incredibly common ailment for millions of Americans every year. Did you know that proper chiropractic care can help get rid of them for good?
Hey everybody! It's Dr. Bob Salamon here with Lowcountry Chiropractic. I hope everyone is well and safe. Today we are going to be discussing a condition that millions of Americans suffer from weekly, and that is headaches! There are many different types of headaches: classic migraines, common migraines, cluster headaches, sinus headaches, headaches that could be caused by brain tumors, brain bleeds, and many others. The one type of headache that is the most common and one that most people suffer from is something called a tension headache.
The reason why I want to talk about headaches is that they can be very debilitating; they can affect your quality of life, they've been known to keep people out of work, they can affect productivity, they can make you very tired and irritable, and they can affect your relationships with your loved ones. It is a very important topic that needs to be addressed! So we are going to be talking about tension headaches and discuss some of the natural treatments and medical treatments that are available out there to treat headaches.
Most tension headaches are vascular in nature. This means that they have to do with the size of the blood vessels in your brain or in your head. How does this work? In your head, you've got many arterioles and capillaries that are supplying blood to the brain. If these vessels get too big or too small, this can cause headaches. We've talked about how blood needs to flow through a vessel of a certain size to properly do its job. Say that the blood vessel constricts, and it is now much smaller than its original size. You still have the same amount of blood that needs to get through that blood vessel. So what happens is that blood puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the walls of that blood vessel, and that pressure can create both high blood pressure and headaches. Conversely, if the blood vessels dilate and get bigger, they increase the vascular volume in your head. This will put pressure on your brain inside your skull and create inflammation. Inflammation, as we know, often leads to pain.
You can sometimes wake up with a tension headache, but more often than not, this isn't the case. They are more likely to appear mid-morning or around midday. One of the most common locations to have a tension headache is in your temples and above your eyes. They can also begin at the base of your skull and come up and around to the front of your forehead. The common medical treatment for headaches is pain medication like anti-inflammatories, or vasodilators, which increase the size of the blood vessels, or vasoconstrictors, which has the opposite effect. These medications do work, but they're not a permanent fix. They don't get at the cause of the problem. They also have side effects, just like all medications.
Let's talk about what can generally cause a blood vessel to change its size. You'll remember that we have a network of nerves that come out of the spine. Those nerves individually control various locations of your body. The nerves in your neck innervate blood vessels in your head. So, in the chiropractic world, if your vertebrae are lined up and the foramen where the nerves exit are open and there is no nerve interference, then the brain will send the correct messages through the nerves, the nerves are sending proper messages to the blood vessels, and the size of the blood vessels is maintained at the perfect diameter. Therefore, if this is the case, you won't get those tension headaches.
But, what happens if you've gotten into a car accident or had a fall, bend over a computer all day, or pick up something incorrectly? These things will affect the alignment of the vertebrae in your neck. This will put pressure on these precious nerves that control the diameter of the blood vessels. When those nerves are pinched, blood vessels will be impacted. So, irritated nerves can constrict those blood vessels or dilate them. Remember, nerve responsibility here is to maintain the integrity of the blood vessels. The role of the chiropractor is to treat the cause of your headaches, which are the misaligned vertebrae or subluxations. We are not treating the symptoms (the headaches) rather we are treating the cause (the subluxation). Removing the cause will help the symptoms go away and will help them stay away! Medication merely just treats the symptoms and not the cause. Medications are a temporary fix or a bandaid.
That's how chiropractic care can provide incredible relief for headaches. If you're suffering from headaches, please give us a call and look us up. We'll set up an appointment and do a detailed exam including x-rays to determine whether or not your headaches are being caused by a subluxation. If they are, you are a candidate for chiropractic care, and we will get to work adjusting your spine and correcting the subluxations. I hope this information is helpful to you, and we will do our best to help you in every way we can. I'm Dr. Bob, and I have your back covered!
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