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Headaches and Chiropractic Care
What can cause a headache?
Headaches can be caused by a number of factors. Many headaches can be traced to neck, jaw (TMJ) or cranial bone (head) misalignment causing stress to the nerves, which in turn affect blood flow.
When the bones of the spine or head lose their normal position or motion (“chiropractic subluxation” or misalignment), the sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head become compromised. When these delicate tissues are irritated, they can produce certain types of headaches.
The nerves of the neck, jaw or head when irritated can lead to head pain. Sometimes the pain can radiate into the face or eyes.
These headaches can make it difficult to think clearly and function. While aspirin or other medications may cover up the symptoms, they do not really correct the long term cause of the headache.
Many different factors can trigger such misalignment such as auto accidents (“whiplash”), bad posture over time, stress, sudden injury to the jaw, head or neck area, food reaction (food allergies), medication side effects or even sinus problems.
What are the different types of headaches?
Most headaches are name as tension-type, migraine or cervicogenic (“from the neck”).
By far, most people get tension-type headaches and get them frequently. They typically suffer mild to moderate pain, both sides of the head that is often described as stiff, tight, constricting – like having a tight band wrapped around your head squeezing.
Migraines are periodic severe, throbbing headaches that afflict far fewer people (more women than men), usually hurt on one side of the head, can cause loss of appetite, nausea and even vomiting, and may involve a vision aura (change) before or during the attack.
Cervicogenic headache is a musculoskeletal form of tension-type headache (which may also be related to migraines). Many times, cervicogenic headache diagnoses are missed because the neck has evaluated and related to the headache.
Other types of headaches can come from tumors, infections, strokes, or other disease process.
Who suffers from headaches?
Many adults, worldwide, get headaches often. Headaches are among the most common physical complaints prompting people to seek relief. Some estimates hold up to 50 million people in the U.S. get long-lasting, severe, recurring headaches. A headache is not normal and is the body's sign something may be wrong.
What about headaches should I be concerned about?
If you are a headache sufferer, your obvious concern is to have a professional examination by a health professional (such as Dr. Marc Lawson, DC) to rule out more serious disease such as tumor or infection. You should also be concern about long term usage of over-the-counter, nonprescription or prescription drug therapy which can have serious side effects and sometimes dangerous interactions with other medications or supplements you take.
What can chiropractic care do?
The goal of chiropractic care is to help relieve the cause of headache pain and is useful in breaking the cycle of taking ever-larger doses of ever-stronger painkillers.
Chiropractic care through studies has shown to be as safe and effective in reducing the severity and frequency of headaches without the side effects of medication. This is why many people have found relief from headaches through chiropractic care.
Chiropractic treatment involves gentle low-force techniques and therapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation to the area, as well as help restore proper joint alignment and posture to help the healing cycle.
As the condition improves, patient education involving corrected exercises and stretching often time is given to help strengthen the weaken area and prevent future problems.
Do you have any questions or concerns Chiropractic and how it can help you and your headaches? Contact Us or call Dr. Lawson DC directly at 858-576-6329. He will be happy to answer your questions and set up a prompt appointment.
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