Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches
Chiropractic treatment for headaches begins with identifying the type of headache you are having.
Common headaches are migraine, tension, cluster, and cervicogenic. A brain tumor or other serious matter may cause a pathologic headache. Chiropractors are trained to identify all types of headaches including pathological.
Migraine & Cluster Headaches
Migraines can be with aura (called a classic migraine) or without an aura (called a common migraine). The current theory is that “something” triggers your blood vessels to decrease or increase blood flow to different areas of your brain.
Chiropractic adjustments affect the nervous system which controls how open or closed your blood vessels are. In this way chiropractors directly effect Migraines.
Chiropractic treatment may also include identifying your trigger(s), massage, hot or cold packs, and nutrition or supplements such as feverfew, 5-HTP, omega-3 oils, vitamin D, magnesium, B vitamins, and riboflavinoids.
Chiropractic treatment for tension headaches involves relaxing the tense muscles that are causing the headache. A chiropractic adjustment blocks signals from your spinal cord that are causing your muscles to be tense, thereby relieving the muscle tension that was causing the headache.
Tension headaches are unique because they will often follow a pattern of pain depending on the muscle involved. Be sure to tell you chiropractor where the pain is in your head, neck, or shoulders so that he can correlate that with the correct muscle and treatment.
Treatment for you headache will likely also include stretching, calcium/magnesium, vitamin D, stress reduction, and relieving tension in muscles near the bottom of your skull and neck. Muscle stimulation and proper posture throughout the day may also prove very helpful.
Chiropractic treatment for cervicogenic headaches is very effective. Cervicogenic means literally “generated by the cervical spine(neck)”. Usually you will have a bone in your neck that isn’t moving properly because of the way you slept last night, talked on the phone for an hour, etc.
Typically these headaches resolve quickly with specific chiropractic adjustments. I mention specific because cracking your own neck by bending your head this way and that is probably not moving the bone that is “stuck”.
Realistically, you are probably moving the bones above and below it that move too much already. This will in turn make it easier for the “stuck” bone to stay stuck and “stick” more easily in the future. Basically, self-adjusting creates hypermobility and pain or headaches in a cruel loop.
Your chiropractor may also be interested in the positions you sleep and work in because these could be effecting your spine, leading to headaches.
Chiropractic treatment of headaches may take the pain away completely or it may have no effect on your headache. Having your headache evaluated by a doctor of chiropractic is still a great idea though.
You will likely finish care knowing the best treatment for your headache. Every headache is different, but chiropractic treatment for headaches can help decrease or eliminate them altogether. Enjoy the chiropractic for health lifestyle.