Chiropractic Adjustments Relieve Headaches
Headaches come in many forms – the stress headache, the sinus headache, the hormonal headache, the dehydration headache, the ‘I haven’t eaten’ headache or the ‘I ate the wrong stuff’ headache, and also the dreaded migraine headache. Whatever the type, or the cause, if you haven’t tried a chiropractic adjustment to relieve – much less get to the source of – your headache, you’re missing a key treatment option that has a very high success rate.
Stress – More Than “a Pain in the Neck”
Obviously, if the cause of your headache is strictly biochemical (including hormone imbalances, food sensitivities, toxicity, fluid deficiency, etc.), it should be treated at the biochemical level. But over two decades of clinical experience has shown us that even headaches with a biochemical underpinning, often have a muscular or nerve component as well. We explain to patients that headaches, especially chronic ones, are multifactorial – meaning they have more than one component causing them.
Tension headaches usually respond very well to chiropractic adjustments because they are structural in nature. Muscles of the upper back, neck and jaw tense up under stress, and many of these muscles attach to vertebrae in the neck and to the scull. With increased muscular tension in this area, the whole neck and head to neck spaces are reduced by these compressive forces, and vertebrae may be pulled out of position causing pinched nerves and they symptoms of a headache
The Neck Bone’s Connected to the Head Bone
Two main nerves emanate from the upper neck and travel up into the head. Between the skull and the first cervical (neck) vertebra, the greater occipital nerve travels over the top of the head to just above the eyes. Between the first and second cervical vertebra, the lesser occipital nerve travels to the sides of the head (the temporal area just above the jaw). Headaches that localize above and around the eyes or in the temporal areas on the side(s) of the head are often structural in nature, and therefore should be treated structurally with chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy.
Migraine headaches range in severity, frequency and contributing factors. While structural imbalance may not be the sole cause of one’s migraines, it can certainly be a contributing cause. Our experience shows that a chiropractic adjustment and physical therapy can reduce the symptoms of migraine headaches considerably.
Recently, our Dr's and Therapists have been working with patients to manually reduce the tension in muscles that control jaw movement, and this has reduced migraine symptoms successfully in some chronic sufferers.
It’s Just a “Normal Headache”
Headaches are not normal – they may be common but that doesn’t make them normal. Upon questioning of new patients , “Do you get headaches?”, they often reply, “Oh, just the normal headache.” To which my response is, “headaches aren’t normal!”.
If you experience headaches, something is wrong. More often than not, it is due to a structural imbalance involving irritated nerves and/or muscles. This can be reduced by chiropractic adjustments. While headaches can also be due to more serious conditions, those are typically quite rare.
If you or someone you know is experiencing headaches that don’t have an easily explained cause, I recommend you/they see a chiropractor for an evaluation of the cervial (neck) spine, posture, and specifically the muscles in the head, neck, shoulder and jaw area. X-rays may be needed to get a clearer picture of the involved areas.
Don’t delay! With the proper pain relief program your headaches could be gone within days or weeks.
Please contact me if you have any questions or comments. I am here to help.
Craig A. Andresen, D.C.
Director of Chiropractic Services
Andresen Active Healthcare