Hello, everyone! This is Dr. Bob Salamon with Lowcountry Chiropractic. As always, I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! In my last blog, we talked about the downsides of pain medication. Today, we’ll be discussing headaches and how chiropractic care can help. It’s a good segue from our last discussion, since many people reach for over-the-counter painkillers to soothe headaches. However, per my last blog, this does not address the root cause of the headache; it simply masks the pain. Headaches are extremely common. In fact, approximately 45 million Americans complain of headaches each year. We all experience a headache every now and then, but some people experience headaches on a more regular basis. When you get a headache, you may choose to lie down, take some pain pills, or just wait for it to fade. But did you know that there’s a better, drug-free, effective treatment? That’s right– Chiropractic care is a great treatment option for those who suffer from headaches. If you are interested in learning more, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get started.
First, let’s discuss what a headache actually is. A headache is generally defined as a pain or discomfort in the head or face that can be sharp, constant, throbbing, or dull. The location and intensity of the pain can vary. Most headaches begin in the nerves of the muscles and blood vessels if they swell or tighten. Basically, it is not actually your head or brain that is hurting, but rather the muscles, blood vessels, and membrane surrounding it. There are also different types of headaches. In fact, there are over 150 types. Let’s take a closer look.
Types Of Headaches
Headaches are generally divided into two categories: Primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are caused by the overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive features in your head. These types of headaches are not a symptom of an underlying disease. Some of the most common types of primary headaches include:
Secondary headaches are symptoms of something else happening in your body and are usually caused by underlying medical conditions. They can be relieved by treating the primary cause or condition. Some of the common types of secondary headaches include:
In rare cases, some secondary headaches can be caused by life-threatening conditions. For example, spinal headaches are secondary headaches that occur due to a spinal fluid leak. Additionally, thunderclap headaches are secondary headaches that come on suddenly and give off intense pain that can last 1 to 5 minutes. These headaches can be a sign of a brain bleed or head injury.
Chiropractic Care And Headaches
So how can chiropractic care help treat headaches? Since primary headaches, such as tension headaches, are often caused by stress, neck, or back strain– or sometimes a combination of both– chiropractic care can provide relief through spinal treatments called adjustments. A chiropractic adjustment can relieve acute or chronic neck pain, which can reduce the number of headaches you experience. A chiropractor can diagnose the type of headaches you are experiencing, and then create a tailored treatment plan that best suits your needs. This will determine and treat the root cause of your headaches, rather than masking the pain. If the actual cause of the headache is not addressed, the headaches are more likely to keep occurring.
Chiropractors will also use diagnostic imaging such as x-rays to identify any interferences or subluxations. Subluxations are misaligned vertebrae that can interfere with some of the body’s natural processes. Since the vertebrae are in such close proximity to the spinal nerves, misalignment can place pressure on the nerves and disrupt the nervous system, causing pain, headaches, and even neurological conditions. Research has shown that chiropractic care is an effective treatment for tension headaches and neck aches!
Additionally, your chiropractor can discuss your lifestyle and provide recommendations and nutritional advice that may be helpful in preventing future headaches. For example, some foods are known to trigger headaches, such as alcohol, chocolate, cheese, and caffeine. If you sit all day at a desk or computer, it will be helpful to get up, stretch, and walk around every 30 minutes to an hour. This will loosen your muscles and relieve tension. By making these small modifications to your lifestyle, you may be able to prevent headaches and get the most out of your chiropractic adjustments. Here are a few other things to consider:
As you can see, chiropractic care is a great, drug-free, and effective way to treat and prevent headaches. I encourage you to stop reaching for over-the-counter painkillers and try an adjustment instead! If you have any further questions about chiropractic care, feel free to reach out to us. I hope you found this article informative. If you or a loved one are suffering from headaches or any type of joint or back pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care. Consider reaching out to Lowcountry Chiropractic! We specialize in different chiropractic techniques, as well as both therapeutic and Swedish massage. Send us an email or give us a call and we’ll assess the situation and develop a treatment plan to address your needs. We want to help you live a healthy and pain-free life– it’s what you deserve. As always, this is Dr. Bob and I have your back covered!
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