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Headaches and Chiropractic

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. While commonly occurring, that doesn’t make headaches “normal” and there are many good options for treatment and prevention.

What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away?

There is a better alternative. Research shows that spinal manipulation is one of the most effective and safest forms of therapy for tension headaches and migraines. (Bronfort 2001) Another report by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” The most common of which is tight muscles in the neck from posture or ergonomics, but may also include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches where the headache is the sole cause of concern. About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by serious problems that need urgent evaluation, especially if you have other medical conditions or severe debilitating headaches that come on rapidly.

What can you do at home to alleviate headaches?
There are many strategies that can result in fewer headaches, or headaches of less intensity:

  • Take frequent breaks from computer work
  • Try low-impact exercise
  • Avoid teeth clenching
  • Drink plenty of water

If these tips don’t work for you, or only work partly, come in and get a full evaluation and personalized recommendations based on your physical exam.

Chiropractic care for headaches includes more than just spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate muscle tension and joint restriction. We also provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of vitamins, mineral or herbal supplements. In addition we offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Call to make an appointment at LGCWC to learn about other ways to improve your lifestyle. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to examine and treat the entire body with specific emphasis on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Drs. Young and Fox help people lead healthier lives by focusing on wellness and prevention.

“Due to a neck injury and a stressful life style I have had frequent and severe headaches for many years. The pain controlled much of my life causing me to miss work and not be able to enjoy other activities. Medication did not control the pain and the side effects made things more difficult. That has all changed with regular visits to Dr. Young. Along with adjustments Dr. Young has shown me exercises, techniques, and life style changes that prevent me from having to plan my life around pain. I appreciate her wide knowledge base and the kind and caring way she treats her patients. Dr. Jessie Young has been a blessing.” –Melody E.

Credit to:
ACA Healthy Living
Bronfort 2001

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