90% of North Americans suffer from headaches. Some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.
Chiropractic care may be an effective treatment option for headaches.
More than 90% of headaches are primary. These include tension, migraine, cervicogenic (originating from tension in the neck) and cluster headaches.
Secondary headaches result from other medical conditions, such as infection or increased pressure in the skull due to a tumour. These account for fewer than 10% of all headaches.
Headaches affect the individual in multiple ways. When one is suffering from headaches he or she may have their sleep disrupted, find it difficult to rest and exercise, have their social life with family and friends affected negatively, and may not be their best at work. Overall the quality of life will be adversely affected.
How can Chiropractic Help?
Proper treatment of any condition involves treating the cause and not just the symptoms. My assessment would involve reviewing your complete health history and performing a thorough physical examination to assess any physical abnormalities or pre-dispositions.
Numerous studies have reported that Chiropractic care is effective in relieving the frequency and intensity of headaches.
Chiropractic is a safe, effective treatment for headaches without the use of drugs or surgery.
If the history indicates that the headache originates from irritation of the 1st, 2nd or 3rd cervical nerve root, my approach would involve relieving the tension in the neck. If the patient suffers from facial pain, jaw pain or sinus pressure, I would perform a special exam on the TMJ (jaw joint) and the cranial bones (bones of the skull). If any abnormality is detected, I would focus on normalizing the function of the TMJ (mostly utilizing soft tissue techniques), and work on the cranial bones utilizing craniopathy and SOT (Sacro Occipital Technique).
How Can I Reduce Headaches?
If you spend a lot of time in one position, such as at a computer, take a break and stretch your neck through a full range of motion.
Low-impact exercise such as walking may relieve some headaches.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and avoid caffeine & alcohol. Dehydration can lead to headaches.
Avoid foods with a high salt or sugar content.
Consult a chiropractor.