All Posts tagged headaches

Suffer from Headaches?

Did you know that there are many different types of headaches? The most common types of headaches include:

  1. Migraines
  2. Tension-type headaches
  3. Cluster headaches
  4. Cervicogenic headaches

This post will focus on tension-type headaches, as they are one of the most common types of headaches suffered by adults. These headaches are often described as “band-like pressure” or “tightness around the head”.

Some common signs and symptoms associated with tension-type headaches include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Mild sensitivity to light or sound
  • General muscle aches and pain

What Causes Tension-type Headaches?

There are many factors that may contribute to the onset of tension-type headaches. How many of the following factors apply to you?

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Eye strain
  • Overexertion
  • Hunger
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Cold/sinus infection
  • Muscle tension around the head and neck

Most of these triggers are lifestyle factors, which we are able to modify on our own. However, chiropractic care has also been shown to be an effective approach to help battle these nasty headaches!

Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments are effective in reducing the intensity and frequency of tension-type headaches, as well as reducing the usage of over-the-counter medication.

If you are suffering from tension-type headaches, the following 5 steps can help:

  1. Manage your stress: One way to manage your stress is to plan ahead and organize your day.
  2. Relaxation Techniques: This may include deep breathing exercises, listening to music, or yoga.
  3. Diet and Exercise: Eating healthy and exercising often. Quitting smoking is also very important to help reduce the onset of headaches.
  4. Heat or Cold: The application of a heat or cold pack around the head may provide some relief.
  5. Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic treatment can assist with muscle tension and postural correction to help re-align the body for optimal functioning!

References

Boline PD, Kassak K, Bronfort G, Nelson C, Anderson AV. Spinal manipulation vs. amitriptyline for the treatment of chronic tension headache: a randomized clinical trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):148-54.

Fumal A, et al. Tension-type headache: Current research and clinical management. Lancet Neurology. 2008;7:70.

Pluta RM. JAMA patient page: Tension-type headache. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2011;306:450.

 

article_headacheTo read more about tension headaches, click on the link below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7790794

 

 

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What’s Hiding Behind Your Headache?

One of the reasons we’re big-time advocates of chiropractic is that it’s useful for treating such a wide variety of conditions- many of which you probably wouldn’t think a chiropractic adjustment could fix. Many new patients think of chiropractic as a solution to chronic and crippling health problems and misalignments. But chiropractic is also a useful therapy to treat and prevent the most common complaints you can think of, including acute conditions like colds and headaches.

Headaches affect many people in different ways. In the course of your own experience you’ve probably encountered many types of pain in different locations, including the temples, forehead, top of the head, base of the skull and behind the eyes. There are tension headaches, pressure headaches and full blown migraines. No matter which type of headache-sufferer you are however, you would likely agree that headaches are irritating at best and debilitating at worst.

While reaching for an over-the-counter drug may help to ease the discomforts of your headache in the present, we’re advocates of finding a “bigger picture,” more long-term solution. With a chiropractic consultation you may discover that the root of your headaches is actually a lifestyle or health factor you’d never previously considered.

What you might not know is that spinal manipulations have consistently been known to improve headaches. Misaligned vertebrae and muscle strain resulting from poor posture can cause severe discomfort and contribute to the frequency and severity of headaches. These headaches are classified as cervicogenic, and benefit enormously from chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic adjustments coupled with massage therapy can also be highly therapeutic for misalignment and stress that are affecting your posture. When your body physically realigns and relaxes, it’s easier for your mind to follow suit. That means that these treatments can decrease your tension and encourage the release of feel-good endorphins, reducing or largely eliminating stress-related headaches.

While stress may be tricky to control, there are a number of other headache triggers that you could manage effectively- all it takes is some investigating. For example, your headaches could be related to ergonomics, caffeine or blood sugar. With the right lifestyle alterations, these would cease to be a problem. A consultation and a second opinion could be just the thing you need to determine which “headache type” you suffer from. No matter what your type, your goal should be to treat the cause, not just the effect.

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