We Help Headaches
Headaches are probably one of the most common ailments affecting mankind today. The National Headache Foundation reported that over 45 million people have regular chronic headaches and a little over half of all those headaches are migraines. Some authors suggest that anything over 5 headaches a year is not normal.
Headaches come in many presentations. We recommend if you have headaches that you start a headache journal even before coming into our office. Simply write down when and where you have the headache, the intensity, the location on your head, what you were doing and how it started and ended. These clues can help us diagnosis the correct cause of the headache and help you understand how what we do can help with your headaches.
A minor tension headache can drain the joy out of your favorite activities, and a cluster headache or migraine can disrupt your life for hours or even days at a time.
There’s usually one thing you want above all when you have a bad headache: relief! Thousands of people rely on over-the-counter medications to temporarily dull the pain. But while painkillers do provide temporary headache relief, over-dependence on medications leave you vulnerable to the drugs’ side effects and other health risks. And in the end, medications only mask the symptoms but don’t treat the root cause of the headaches themselves—meaning that in many cases, the problem will never really go away.
Our chiropractic care is a natural, non-drug solution that provides relief for many different headache types.
1. Tension Headaches: This type of headache seems linked to the spasms of the neck and head muscles and a pulling on the connective tissue in the upper spine. This is a very common type of Headache and can often be linked with instability of the upper spine, subluxation, ligament laxity, poor posture, weak muscle and even lack of sleep.
2. Migraines: Migraines are still widely debated about the cause; however, a few theories persist at least for classic migraines. One common explain nation is a change in the amount of pressure or swelling in the blood vessels of the head. There are now many kinds of migraines. Many people associate the Migraines with the other symptoms they often have, nausea, vomiting, and an aura of bright lights or smells, blurred vision, weakness etc. One common Migraine we see in our office is a Post Traumatic Migraine following an acute blow to the head or a “whiplash” injury to the head, sometimes this can be called a post concussive migraine as well.
3. Cluster Headaches: This is a much less common headache, but the symptoms are very intense and the pain often drives people to the Emergency Room. As the name suggests they occur in clusters of 2-6 over a short period usually in a specific pattern in the head. There is a great deal of difference from individuals but often the pain is so severe the person will not be able to sit still.
4. Rebound Headaches: This is getting to be a more common type of headache in our office. This occurs from taking medications
for headaches over time and the effectiveness seems to wear off and soon the patient actually starts to develop headaches from the medications.
5. Mixed or Combination Headaches: As the name suggest this is usually a combination of tension and migraine symptoms, often following trauma we see a good deal of this pattern. This type of headache seems to be common in people who have TMJ (Temporamandibular Joint problems).
6. Hormone Headaches: This is often associated with menstrual cycles or the use of birth control methods.
7. Sinus/Pressure Headaches: This headache is a combination of either just a build up of pressure in the sinuses and or an infection in the sinuses often causing facial pain, severe headaches and long term problems. Fever is often associated with infections and should be ruled out.
8. Acute vs. Chronic Headaches: As you can see there are many kinds of headaches, acute bad headaches that cause you to change your activity or wake you up should be evaluated quickly. Chronic gradually progressive headaches need to be worked up for tumors and vascular anomalies in the head.
This is just a brief overview of some of the headaches that we see on a regular basis, the headache journal and a good exam with imaging if necessary can reduce, eliminate and drastically improve the quality of your life. We often use a 3T MRI to rule out significant headaches, this is like a high definition picture compared to a Polaroid, (Information about a 3T MRI can be found at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, www.mycdi.com).
Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about how we can help reduce headache pain and frequency of a headache. Often changing the neurological input to the brain, via input from muscle, nerve patterns, cranial sacral work and Sidmar Treatment Methods can prove to be very successful. Acupuncture and acupressure can and are used for headaches as well.