All Posts tagged pain management

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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Massage: the Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Massage is a widely respected and integrated therapy. Its effects have been tested on patients with arthritis, drug addictions, mood disorders, cancer, and more. We’re still learning everything it can do. While we continue to discover more about the physical benefits of massage and its usefulness for a variety of chronic and acute conditions, one major news item was recently discovered: Massage has a proven anti-inflammatory effect on muscles.

A study conducted on the quadriceps muscles of several active participants revealed that the act of massage releases anti-inflammatory signals that improve the ability of muscle cells to make new mitochondria. This converts food into energy and can help speed tissue repair.

An analysis of the muscle tissue of both groups of participants (those who had been massaged and those who had taken no treatment) revealed no discernible differences, further confirming that massage is a safe and effective way to treat muscle pain.

1255004_88259036Massage can do a lot more than help you avoid taking an anti-inflammatory. It’s also a great therapeutic option for those suffering from headaches, insomnia, anxiety and fibromyalgia. In addition to the physical benefits that it offers by improving circulation, helping to facilitate muscle tissue repair and reducing pain, massage is a uniquely therapeutic experience. An hour of massage offers clients a chance to focus on their body’s physical sensations and responses in a way we don’t often have time to do. Massage also triggers the release of mood-elevating endorphins, and encourages meditative practices like closed eyes, deep breathing, and total body relaxation.  All of these factors help to make massage more than a therapy- it’s also an escape, and a mental break that many of us are craving.

With mounting hard evidence of the undeniable benefits of massage therapy, we should encourage a shift in perspective that embraces massage as a critical part of our ongoing health and wellness journey.

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