Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some headaches are triggered by stress, loud noises, or even fatigue. Some headaches are a dull, throbbing pain while others can be debilitating. Though some only have headaches occasionally, those who suffer from chronic headaches may find long-lasting relief by visiting a chiropractor. Headaches and chiropractic care work well together to alleviate headache pain.
What causes headaches?
Foods and environmental stimuli do indeed cause headaches. Certain behaviors such as blood sugar changes, over exercising, and insomnia can also trigger headaches. Almost five percent of all headaches are the body’s warning sign of a physical problem. The other ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. They are deemed primary because they are the main concern and not a symptom due to a physical problem. One direct cause of primary headaches is tightness in your neck and shoulders. This tightness can irritate sensitive pain structures in the neck, causing tension headaches.
Ways You Can Prevent Headaches
- Those with sedentary lifestyles, who sit in one position for large portions of the day, should consider taking the time to stretch every thirty minutes. Try neck stretches, but never extend past your range of motion.
- Light exercise can help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, those prone to throbbing headaches should avoid excessive exercise. Engage in such activities as walking or aerobics.
- Avoid clenching your teeth. Clenching your teeth can irritate your temporomandibular joints—the two joints that connect your jaw and your skull more commonly known as TMJ—and cause tension headaches.
- Drink plenty of water to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
Headaches and Chiropractic Care
Did you know that there is a connection between relieving the pain from your headaches and chiropractic care? Headache tension can be relieved through chiropractic treatment including adjustments and soft tissue techniques such as massage. Your chiropractor may perform spinal manipulation or adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system. Your chiropractor may also offer advice on your posture, ergonomics (your work posture), exercises, and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.
A study released in 2001 by researchers at Duke University found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for headaches that originated in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and enduring relief of tension headaches than commonly prescribed medications. Another study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (1995) found similar results. They reported that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced continuous therapeutic benefits in contrast with those patients who received only medication.
Contact us to learn more about chiropractic care and scheduling to see a chiropractor today.