How Chiropractic Can Be Helpful for Your Headaches
Headaches are one of the most common pain conditions globally. Almost everyone will experience a headache at least once in their lifetime. It is also one of the most common reasons for absenteeism from work and school.
Headaches can be more complex than many people realize. People often write-off headaches as a minor problem. Persistent headaches can affect a person’s quality of life.
People with an episodic headache disorder may find performing activities of daily living challenging. Many people with headaches avoid going out in public in order to avoid triggers. Headache can make it difficult for a person to concentrate or focus, affecting their productivity and performance.
Some common causes of headaches include:
A cold, fever, or infection can cause a bad headache. A throat infection, ear infection or sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) can also bring about headaches. In some cases, headaches can indicate an underlying health issue.
Stress is an inevitable part of modern life. It is becoming more common with every passing year. When we are stressed, our bodies release certain chemicals that can cause changes, which can bring about tension headaches.
Some types of headaches, especially migraine headaches tend to run in families. If either of your parents has migraine, there is a 50 percent chance that you will have the condition too. When both parents have migraines, there is a 70 percent chance that the child will inherit the condition.
People who are frequently exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, strong smells from allergens, perfumes, chemicals or certain foods have a higher risk of getting headaches. Pollution, lightning, noise and weather changes are other potential triggers.
Some other causes of headaches include neck or back stress due to poor posture and poor lifestyle choices such as skipping meals and alcohol use. Changes in sleep patterns and over reliance on medication can also cause changes that bring about headaches.
Types of Headaches
Headaches fall into two main categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches.
Any type of headache that isn’t caused by another underlying medical condition falls in this category. Here are some types of headaches that fall in this category:
- Tension headaches: Tension headaches usually affect teens and young adults. Tension headaches usually cause mild to moderate pain and come and go.
- Migraine headaches: Migraines can cause severe pounding or throbbing sensation. It can be accompanied by increased sensitivity to light and/or sound, and nausea and/or vomiting. A migraine can last from 4-72 hours.
- Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are characterized by severe burning or piercing pain behind or around one eye. In some cases, the pain could be throbbing or constant. They tend to happen in groups (hence the name). A headache attack can last fifteen minutes to three hours. Men are more likely to experience cluster headaches than women.
- New daily persistent headaches: Or NDPH can start suddenly and last for three months or longer. The exact cause of NDPH is not known. Some people believe that it strikes after a surgery, an infection, flu or a stressful event
Secondary headaches are related to another underlying medical condition. Some health conditions that can cause secondary headaches are infections, high blood pressure, diseases affecting blood vessels in the brain, sinus congestion and tumor.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help
If you have a headache disorder but do not want to take pain medications due to the side effects associated with them, give chiropractic care a try.
People around the world use chiropractic care to manage their headaches. Many medical practitioners, clinics and healthcare facilities use chiropractic therapy in adjunct with other forms of conventional treatment to help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches.
Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help manage headaches. Chiropractors use hands-on manipulation, manual therapy and soft tissue therapy to align the body’s musculoskeletal structure, enabling the body to heal itself.
Chiropractic care is more effective than many traditional care options as it targets the root causes of headaches, not just their symptoms.
When you visit a chiropractor near you in Des Moines for the first time they will ask you questions about your family history and medical history. They may perform some physical tests and order imaging tests.
Once your chiropractor makes an accurate diagnosis, they will design a treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include performing manipulations on your neck as well as your back depending on the results of your examination.
Chiropractors use spinal manipulations to bring misaligned vertebrae that are causing pressure on nerves back into alignment. Manipulations will not just help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches, they can even prevent stress and tension from building up and causing headaches in future.
When you receive a chiropractic adjustment, the toxins locked in your body are finally released. As your body is being cleansed and cured, your stressed out mind and body relaxes.
Chiropractors use targeted methodology to adjust the alignment of the spine to improve spinal function and reduce stress on the nervous system. This allows the body to function optimally, reducing the risk of attacks.
Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce build up of stress hormones and stimulate the endocrine system to secrete feel-good hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin.
Your chiropractor may also recommend lifestyle changes to manage headaches. They may also teach you exercises for better sleep and stress relief and posture exercises.
They may ask you to avoid certain foods, avoid spending too much time looking at screens and avoid triggers such as certain types of lights and noises.
Has pain become an integral part of your life? Give chiropractic care a try. Ascent Chiropractic is committed to helping individuals break shackles of chronic pain. We use a whole body approach to care. Our methodologies are designed to balance the structure of the body and to create a stable neuromusculoskeletal system. To learn more, call 206-241-3836.