Please read the section on neck pain as there is a strong correlation between neck pain and headaches. When the neck becomes subluxated associated with nerve compression, this may lead to referred pain behind the eye, TMJ or pain front or back of the head. Plus muscle tension in the neck can refer into the head.
Most people will experience at least one headache in their lifetime if not more. Headaches can present as a dull, sharp, throbbing, pulsating, constant or intermittent pain. The pain may last as long as a few minutes to days. Some people may experience nausea. In spite of the pain some people may suffer, most headaches have no serious implications, however, it always pays to check what is causing your headache.
The causes of headaches are many and varied. There are two main types of headaches:
Tension headaches account for the majority of cases about 75% that present to the chiropractic office. Usually described as a tight band around the head, constant dull ache on either one side or both. The cause of tension headaches is usually stress, poor posture or spinal subluxations of the neck and the resulting muscles become tight and tense. Also in whiplash cases where muscle damage has occurred, trigger point may develop in the muscle, causing referred pain into the head.
Chiropractors can provide good relief to tension headaches by locating the affected subluxation of the spine and adjusting it. This restores normal function of the spine and relieves muscle tension. Trigger point therapy may also be applied to release the tension.
Migraines are another common form of headache which can be debilitating. Approxamately two million Australians are affected by migraines with women three time more susceptible than men. Migraines can happen at any age, but are most common before the age of 40, with half of the sufferers having a family history of suffering migraine headaches.
The cause of migraine headaches is not fully understood, but changes in the blood flow to the brain which may be triggered by low levels of serotonin. Initially the blood vessels are constricted, which leads to visual disturbance, then followed by dilation of blood vessels which may lead to a throbbing headache.
As mentioned the mechanism is not fully understood, but triggers for migraines may include:
- Poor posture (Subluxation)
- Muscle tension
- Loud noises
- Flickering or bright lights
- Certain foods or drink – chocolate, cheese, alcohol, coffee
Taking medication in the acute phase initially to help with symptoms is a common form of treatment. However, on a long term wellness basis, it is well worth while looking at reducing all the possible causes and triggers associated with migraine headaches.
In recent study undertaken at Macquarie University as part of a PhD thesis 72% of migraine suffers experienced either ‘substantial’ or “noticeable’ improvement with chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic treatment would include:
- Spine adjustments
- Posture correction
- Muscle therapy
Also advice changing lifestyle and reducing the triggers associated with migraine headaches.
Please contact our office to discuss your headaches or migraines. We can answer any questions or concerns and arrange an appointment to help you get better. Ph 55737033