We have some good news for you… yes! Yes, Chiropractic care DOES help you get rid of headaches. In fact, headaches are one of the most common complaints that drive patients into our office; second only to neck and back pain. While there are many causes of headaches, we have found that most headaches originate from problems in your neck. Some headaches that are more severe, such as migraine and cluster headaches, are related to vascular problems. These headaches often include symptoms like nausea and/or vomiting , and they can be quite disabling, forcing you to rest in a dark, quiet place for a several hours to an entire day. The majority of headaches are categorized as “tension” headaches. This type usually result from tightness in the muscles in the neck and upper back. Stress, work, lack of sleep, sinusitis, trauma such as whiplash, and other experiences can cause these. Pain can be felt in the upper neck or the back of the head as well as in the frontal, sinus region, top or sides of the head. It can vary from a throbbing pain to an ache to just a constant pain.
Do any of these headaches sound familiar?
When the headache patient comes into our office, we first get their entire history. We will ask things like: “How/when did the headaches start? How often do they occur? When do you notice them the most? After working? After lying down?” This may tell us the actual root cause of your headaches, such as a car accident or other injury or your work habits.
If certain activities increase or create your headache, we might be able to help you manage them. For example, when certain work activities create a headache (Like staring at a computer or long hours on the road, we will modify the workstation and/or give specific exercises on a regular schedule to keep the neck tension under control.
What most people don’t realize is that a mechanical dysfunction of the vertebrae in your neck will cause increased muscle tension, as well as irritate the delicate nerves that control blood flow into the head. By improving the movement or alignment of the bones in the neck, we can relieve the pressure and irritation that results in headaches!
We do an examination to get the ENTIRE picture of what may be going on in your frame. We check nerve function by checking reflexes, sensation and muscle strength as well as correlating information like positions that decrease arm or leg pain will be included as any position that reduces pain in the arm or leg must be incorporated into an exercise. The X-rays we take after include bending “stress” views so that ligaments (that hold bones together) can be evaluated for “laxity” (torn and unstable). When this is found, we avoid adjustments to these vertebrae. We also evaluate the jaw or TMJ for involvement.
We will not adjust you until we do a thorough evaluation because we want to heal you!
Treatment approaches include:
- Soft tissue therapy
- Posture correction exercises and other exercises
- Education about job modifications
- Co-management with other health care providers, if medication or injection therapy is needed.
Call us today at 941.924.4400 so we can help relieve you of your pain! We have seen patients become headache free within just a few weeks of regular therapy.