Frequent Headaches

Got Headaches? – Common Causes of Headaches & How We Can Help

Got Headaches?

Are headaches making your life miserable?  Do you suffer from migraines? If so, this blog is for you!

Especially in the last year, headaches have become an increasingly more common complaint. Not only are we more stressed than ever before, but we are also spending longer periods on our phones, sitting in front of computers, and leading more sedentary lifestyles. These habits can lead to intense muscle tension in your upper back, neck, and scalp as well as joint irritation, resulting in headaches.

There are many types of headaches with some of the more common ones including tension-type, cervicogenic, migraines, and cluster headaches.

Causes of Headaches

Headaches usually have multiple possible contributing factors and causes. Symptoms can help determine the cause, and as a result, what the optimal treatment and approach would be. Fortunately, most headaches are not caused by serious illnesses, but in some cases, they may require immediate medical attention. Something as simple as a tight muscle compressing blood flow or even a nerve can lead to headache, and it’s in these cases that chiropractic can bring much-needed relief.

For some, headaches, especially migraines, can be triggered by certain foods and even lifestyle factors such as:

  • Alcohol, particularly red wine
  • Certain foods, such as processed meats or chocolate.
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor posture
  • Missed meals
  • Excessive stress

Identifying these triggers and eliminating them is absolutely crucial if the headaches are caused by foods, perfumes, or other chemical sensitivities.

Headaches can also be caused by misalignments or “stuck” joints in your neck. These are known as cervicogenic headaches, meaning “originating from the cervical spine and/or surrounding structures.” This includes irritation and/or dysfunction of the cervical spine joints which can refer pain to the head.

How We Can Help

As Doctors of Chiropractic, we are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of problems with your spine, muscles, and other structures that can cause headaches. To start, we’d perform a thorough history, to be able to determine if any lifestyle factors (e.g., diet, alcohol, or stress) may be triggers for your frequent headaches. We will also examine your spine, your muscles, your nerves, and any other structures that might be causing your headaches.  After a cause is identified, a treatment plan will be created for you.

We will discuss your treatment options with you and answer questions you may have. Treatment options may include chiropractic adjustments or mobilization, massage therapy, cold laser therapy, and other modalities. Exercises may also be prescribed to help correct your structural weaknesses. These approaches will relieve spinal tension, improves brain function, and alleviate the effects of stress on your nervous system, which can oftentimes result in the relief of headaches.

If you are looking for options to deal with your injuries, or have any questions, call us at 714 540 6792 for a free virtual or in-person consultation, which is simply a conversation with our doctor, to see if we can help!
Knee Pain

Natural Solutions for Knee Pain

Knee Pain? Swelling? Stiffness? Clicking When You Walk or Run?

Knee problems affect people of all ages and can arise from injury, overuse, or due to underlying medical conditions. The most common signs and symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, redness, warmth, weakness, popping or crunching noises, and the inability to fully extend the knee.

Some Common Causes Of Knee Pain

Faulty Biomechanics: Structural abnormalities such as one hip higher than the other (i.e. pelvic imbalance) can create a leg length discrepancy and result in more pressure on one side of the body. Over time, this can lead to inflammation, stiffness, and pain in the short term, and degeneration (wear-and-tear) in the long run. Correcting these structural abnormalities is the only way to achieve a permanent solution. Medications and even surgery will only provide temporary relief if the underlying cause isn’t corrected.  A Structural Chiropractor and corrective exercises oftentimes provide full and permanent solutions.

  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints, due to trauma or in some cases, disease. While there are over100 different types of arthritis, the most common type by far is osteoarthritis, which is degenerative or “wear-and-tear” of the cartilage between the bones.  If left untreated, it can worsen over time and cause the knee (and other joints) to be painful and stiff.
  • Injuries: Injuries can affect the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones of the knee as well as the surrounding tissues. A few of the most common knee injuries include the following:
    • ACL sprain/tear: One of the most common injuries, especially in sports. When it occurs, it is the tear of the major ligament in the knee and happens when a sudden movement causes the ligament to overstretch and at times, tear. The symptoms include swelling, forward instability, and pain from the damaged knee.
    • Fractures: a break or crack in the bones. When a knee fracture occurs it can be painful and requires a doctor’s examination. The doctor will most likely put the fractured area in a splint or cast to help protect and heal the area.
    • Torn Meniscus: One of the most common knee injuries, which happens when the knee is forcibly twisted with a planted foot. Symptoms may include popping, swelling, stiffness, intense pain, and the inability to straighten the knee.
    • Knee Bursitis: Another very common injury, bursitis occurs when the small cushions that help the bones, tendons, and muscles around the joints become inflamed due to excessive friction due to faulty biomechanics.
    • Patellar Tendinitis: inflammation of the tissue that connects the knee cap to the shin bone. The injury commonly occurs in athletes and is treated by strengthening the muscles around the knee (quads, hamstrings, TFL/IT Band, etc).

When Should I See a Doctor?

You should see a doctor as soon as possible if any of these symptoms or signs occur:

  • Pain/Swelling/Redness
  • Clicking or popping
  • Unable to put weight on the knee
  • Can’t fully extend or flex the knee
  • Knee “gives out” or feels unstable

Treatment Options: For mild knee pain there are inexpensive, at-home treatment options that usually help such as ice/heat, rest, physical therapy and corrective exercises, and knee bracing. Also, keeping your body in good shape can help prevent future injury and knee pain. The muscles around your knee help to keep it in place and when these weaken the likelihood of having an injury increases.

More serious knee pain used to result in the almost-guaranteed prescription of pain medication, cortisone injections, and even surgery. Fortunately, the last decade has brought us more innovative methods such as Cold Laser Therapy, PRP, and stem cell therapy.

How do I treat knee pain, naturally?

  • Rest: As with most injuries, avoiding offending activities and rest is crucial.
  • Ice/Heat: Can help reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as break the pain-spasm cycle. Heat can improve circulation to the injured region. 15-20 minutes applied to the painful area can help. Do as often as needed.
  • Chiropractic: Adjustments can be done not just to the spine, but also to the knee, hips, ankles to help restore proper function to “stuck” joints.
  • Physical Therapy: Can help strengthen and improve the flexibility of the muscles surrounding the knees. Your Doctor of Physical Therapy will develop a specific, individualized program to stretch tight muscles, strengthen weak muscles, and address other structural abnormalities.
  • Supplementation: Supplements such as joint support (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, SAMe, collagen, vitamin C/zinc), omega 3s, bromelain, and turmeric can all be used for both alleviation of pain, and also to prevent further degeneration of knee cartilage. Arnica is also a great option for bumps and bruises involving the knee.
  • Shed Excess Weight: Being overweight causes extra stress on your knees. Maintaining a healthy body weight can reduce the chances of added pressure and stress affecting your knees. A significant portion of knee pain will improve and even resolve with dropping excess weight.

If you are looking for a permanent solution for your knee pain, or have any questions, call us at 714 540 6792 for a free phone or in-person consultation, which is simply a conversation with our doctors to see if we can help!