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Headaches and Chiropractic Care

headacheHave a headache? Don’t ignore it! A headache is your body’s way of telling you something’s not right.

There are many causes of headaches, some types of headaches if combined with neck pain, therefore a neck related headache, can be relieved by chiropractic treatment!

By visiting your chiropractic they will be able to triage what is causing your headache and advise whether chiropractic treatment could help or onward referral is necessary. Read on to find out more.

Here are 5 common types of headaches…

1. Tension Headaches

The most common type with 78% of all headaches.

Muscle contraction headaches cause mild to moderate pain from the neck to the forehead. Can cause a constricting band- like headache. Associated with tension in muscles, tension in the neck and stress.

These are often associated with bad posture, and restrictions in your spinal joints or muscles of your neck or back.

Chiropractic treatment can release joint fixations and muscle tightness to get your neck and back functioning better, and can be a real blessing in helping relieve these headaches!

2. Cluster Headaches

These are very rare severe headaches generally with an intense pain around the eye and temple and last 20 minutes to two hours. Eye tearing and nasal congestion are significant.

There is no miracle cure for cluster headaches, however improving the function and nervous system of your body through chiropractic adjustments can often provide relief.

3. Sinus Headaches

Inflammation of the lining of one of the eight sinus cavities can cause a deep dull ache around the eyes and nose. This is an acute sinus infection and usually is associated with fever, eye tearing and nasal stuffiness.

If you are worried you have infection always visit your GP.

4. Rebound Headaches

These headaches occur with overuse or misuse of pain-relieving medication, also called medication-overuse headaches.

Over the counter analgesics can help relieve headache pain but must be taken in moderation. When the pain relief wears off you may experience a withdrawal reaction, leading you to taking more medication, and can lead to a vicious cycle.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s advice regarding taking painkiller medication.

5. Migraines

Intense pain on one side of the head. Can be accompanied by disturbances of vision and hearing, nausea and vomiting.

There can be trigger factors involved with headaches and it is beneficial to keep a diary to see if there is a link.

Many research studies support the use of chiropractic treatment in helping manage migraine headaches, with recent research showing a course of manipulation treatments lead to sustained improvement in headache frequency and severity.

What can I do to prevent headaches?

  • Maintaining good posture particularly when sitting and standing to prevent increased pressure on the spine
  • Drink plenty of water (at least 2 litres a day) and reduce intake of caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks containing sweeteners
  • Try to avoid situations of increased stress, if unable to avoid this find what makes you relax and cope with it more effectively
  • Eat regularly to regulate sugar levels
  • Maintain a regular sleep pattern of 6-8 hours each night
  • Take regular breaks from work, particularly if you are utilising a computer monitor
  • Don’t sleep on your stomach as this can put more pressure on your neck and back due to twisting. Lying on your side or back is best utilising a cervical pillow
  • Avoid getting overtired
  • Find some times to relax. Getting outside and some fresh air and a brisk walk really helps!
  • Further advice book an appointment in with one of our chiropractors at our Bournemouth or Fordingbridge Clinic today.

Sources:

Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. J Headache Pain. 2011 Apr;12(2):127-33

Migraine Action

Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York

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