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.