Tuesday, November 17, 2009
There Are Different Kinds of Headaches
What causes them?
Contrary to some of my colleges some headaches are treated better by other means than Chiropractic. Acupuncture and yes even medicine work. Trust me when you have been driven to your knees and crippled by a headache you will try anything.
Headaches are most commonly caused by
- Tension in the muscles
- Changes by vascular constriction
- Sinus congestion
Chiropractic seems to work best in the types of headaches that are based around muscle tension and changes to vascular flow. Sinus headaches have also had success, but they are likely to have a more complicated cause.
There are three main types of headaches typically found in a chiropractic office:
- Migraine headaches
- Tension headaches
- Cervicogenic headaches
The last type of headache mentioned sounds a bit scary, but it just simply means a headache that is caused by referred pain that originates within the bone, muscles, or nerves of the neck.
If we become stressed, scared, or angry, your body will respond with increased muscle tension in the head, neck, and shoulders. This reaction is called the fight or flight response, and it is the normal response to stress. If we are stressed often (as most of us are) and we can neither run or fight, the muscle tension becomes a habit.
This can lead to some imbalances in the way we hold our body, which in turn leads to more muscle tension and pain. Chiropractic treatment can relax these muscles and realign the spine’s structure to put and end to the vicious cycle of pain. Those seeking chiropractic care for tension headaches can often see a marked improvement in just a few treatments as the nerves become less irritated and the muscles begin to relax.
Migraines are brought about by changes in vascular flow, triggered by a variety of factors such as different smells, foods, weather, hormonal changes, and stress. These often very painful headaches do not always start off as pain. They can begin with nausea or the person may experience a halo effect called a visual aura.
Recent studies have shown chiropractic treatment may play a significant role in reducing the number of migraines a person has. By careful manipulation of the neck and spine, chiropractic adjustments may be able to reduce nerve irritation in the spine, thus preventing radiating or referred pain, and improve vascular flow.
care can best help: Tension, and Cervicogenic Headaches. It centers around manipulation of the spine and neck to improve blood flow and posture. To reduce the headaches, the chiropractor will perform spinal adjustments using his hands, but may also include massage, trigger point therapy, or other types of complementary treatments to address the problem. The doctor of chiropractic will probably also include some home care recommendations such as stretching exercises and posture education to help keep things balanced between visits.
care can best help: Migraines, Vascular headaches. Acupuncture centers on energy and the balance of flow. It sounds a bit hooky to the lay person, but its been around for over 2000 years and people use it every day to alleviate their headaches.