Most of us have experienced the throbbing or stabbing pain of a headache and because the head controls the rest of the body it is hard to ignore. There are several types of headaches and the exact cause can be complex.
Headaches are not normal. Recurring headaches are a sign that something is wrong and should not be ignored. Aspirin, ibuprofen and other medications may temporarily mask the symptoms but they do nothing to correct the source of the problem. As long as the problem remains the headaches will continue to come back.
Vertebrogenic Headaches or Tension Headaches are caused by problems with the vertebrae in the cervical spine. These headaches may be felt in the back, sides and front of the head or in the front of the face or neck. Chronic irritation of the nerve roots between the vertebrae can be caused by changes to the normal curvature of the cervical spine caused by trauma, degenerative arthritis or poor posture. The onset of pain is often acute and may also cause muscle contractions in the neck that can often trigger tension headaches as well. Pain is the body’s way of alerting us that something is wrong. It is unwise to ignore these signals and treat just the symptoms.
Migraine Headaches are common but not very well understood. Migraine headaches can present with intense pain in the whole head, single sided head pain, nausea, visual disturbance and pain into the face. Most patients receiving chiropractic care for Migraine Headaches report lasting improvement.
How Can Your Chiropractor Help?
A Doctor of Chiropractic is highly experienced in finding the causes of the headaches as well as relieving the immediate pain. In most cases a series of spinal adjustments to return misaligned vertebrae to their normal position can relieve pressure on the irritated nerve roots. Relaxation exercises and lifestyle changes may be suggested to avoid future headaches. Medical management of headaches usually involves some type of medication that can result in unwanted side effects or dependencies. Chiropractic offers a natural and safe approach to relieving and preventing future headaches.