Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headache. These headaches are so named because they often result from tension in the RCPM (rectus capitis posterior minor) muscle. When the RCPM muscle tightens, it pulls on a sensitive tissue at the base of the skull called the dura mater, which sets off a classic tension headache.
Stress, poor posture, and clenching of the jaw are all commonly seen in people who suffer from tension headaches. While anyone can have the odd tension headache, constant or recurring headaches may indicate a musculoskeletal misalignment in the upper cervical spine.
Migraines are still somewhat mysterious, but current medical understanding is that they’re related to unnaturally low serotonin levels. This triggers a reaction in the trigeminal nerve that relays pain messages to the meninges, which are membranes covering your brain.
The first indication of an approaching migraine might be odd visual distortions called “auras.” You then experience symptoms, which may include excruciating, pulsing pain in one part of the head, nausea and vomiting, extreme sensitivity to sound and light, and blurred vision.
Migraines can be brought on by anything from certain foods to flashing lights or even changes in the weather. In severe cases, a migraine attack could last for days.
People commonly turn to pain relievers for migraine treatment or headache relief, but these drugs don’t address the underlying causes of chronic headaches and migraines. Even worse, migraine medications may lose their effectiveness over time unless you keep increasing the dosage.
The Optimal Health Spine & Wellness team can combat headache and migraine pain at the source by helping your body function more normally. They have substantial experience treating patients who have headaches and migraines by targeting the underlying triggers for this pain.
The first step for relieving headache pain is to identify the underlying cause. For many patients, headache pain is due to a cervical spine subluxation. Once your provider identifies a cervical spine subluxation, they use hands-on adjustments to address this misalignment.
Cervical spine misalignment often results from an untreated case of whiplash or a sports injury. Every patient is different, though, which is why you receive a personalized treatment plan that addresses your particular headache and neck pain. Your plan takes a holistic approach, including looking at potential triggers for headaches such as caffeine intake, lack of sleep, and food intolerances.
Depending on the severity and frequency of your headache pain, a single adjustment can often provide immediate relief. Some patients with severe, frequent headaches benefit from ongoing corrective care two or three times a week for between six and eight weeks.
Don’t let headaches or migraines dominate your daily life. Call Optimal Health Spine & Wellness today to schedule an appointment.