Chiropractic Treatment for Head Issues
What is Causing My Constant Headache?
If you’ve found this page, there’s a good chance that you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from headache. In fact, you may already know that a severe headache is the #1 reason for missing work. So, if you’re one of those folks who’s tired of missing work or loosing quality time with friends and family, because your head throbs or bright lights hurt your eyes, this article is for you.
It’s no secret that severe or constant headaches can impact your quality of life. So let me start this article by sharing an overview of the types of headaches I see in my practice, then how my chiropractic can treat them to help restore your health.
90% of Americans – and 30% of My Patients – Suffer from Headaches
According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 90% of Americans suffer from a headache periodically. Of these, approximately 95% are caused by tension, migraines, or cluster headaches, while 5% are warning signals caused by Even more serious physical problems.
Personally, about a third of the patients I’ve helped in my practice suffered from headaches week in and week out. If this describes you, ask yourself, “Are headaches preventing me from a more satisfying life? Are my headaches keeping me from getting work done? Are headaches stopping me from helping other people?
Types of Headaches
- Tension Headaches
My patients describe their tension headaches as a tight band or a constant dull ache around their head or just behind their eyes. Some common causes for tension headaches are stress, bad posture, or both, which causes the spine and upper back or neck muscles to retain tension.People who work at a computer or phone all day under severe deadlines or pressure often suffer from tension headaches.
- Migraine Headaches
Annually, approximately 25 million Americans suffer from debilitating, intense and throbbing migraine headaches; about 75% of them are women. Some migraines are so intense they can cause nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, or all of these symptoms, for a few hours to a few days.What causes migraines? It’s typically a constriction of your brain’s blood vessels, followed by a dilation of your blood vessels. This causes a decrease in blood flow. Some people have specific migraine triggers; certain foods, insomnia, exercise or blood sugar or hormonal changes. Others have what is known as a aura before a migraine in the form of a visual or auditory hallucination
- Treatment for Tension and Migraine Headaches
I see tension and migraine headaches on opposite ends of a continuum, with the former related more to muscles and the latter related more to blood flow. Because muscles and blood are both controlled primarily by to your nervous system, I treat these types of headaches in similar ways using chiropractic adjusting and cranial therapies.
- Chiropractic Adjusting
Both Migraines and tension headaches are effected by stiff joints, especially in the neck, that irritate nerves and cause tight muscles at the base of the skull. This environment of tension can cause headache pain behind the eyes, in the back or top of the head or around the whole head like a tight band. Loosening up stiff joints with chiropractic adjusting interrupts this tension producing cycle.
- Cranial Therapies
Your skull has a huge impact on the health of your brain, so cranial therapies for headaches can include Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT), Upledger CranioSacral Therapy and traditional Osteopathic craniopathy to improve the very subtle movement of skull bones, enhancing the flow of fluid around the brain critical to a healthy nervous system.
Furthermore, for any type of stress related headache, cranial therapy can provide a deep dense of relaxation. In fact, one 10-minute session can typically result in a dreamlike state-of-mind that makes you feel calm and refreshed.
- TMJ Treatment
Trouble with the jaw can be a factor in both migraines and tension headaches. If your jaw hurts, you are a clencher or grinder or your jaw pops or swings to the side as you open your mouth, TMJ treatment should be part of your headache treatment. TMD, (TMJ Disfunction) may also cause jaw or ear pain, tinnitus or vertigo, but is often a missed part of the headache diagnosis equation.
For my patients with TMJ or jaw clicking, I look at the jaw itself, the surrounding bones and muscles, plus the overall structure of the body, especially your pelvis. I may also coordinate a visit to your dentist or orthodontist to treat the underlying cause of the jaw pain.
If this article about what causes headaches was helpful, please share it with your friends and family members who may be suffering from chronic headaches.