90% of US residents experience headaches from time to time – some are mild while others are more disabling, causing severe pain or nausea.
Causes of headache
A person experiences pain from headaches when there’s something causing problems in the signals between your nerves, blood vessels, and brain. Whenever there’s something wrong, nerves from the head muscles and blood vessels send pain signals to the brain, causing the headache.
The main reason why these pain signals are sent out in the first place depends on a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Too much stress – Tension headaches can be caused by too much stress as well as depression, changes in diet and sleep, alcohol consumption, and excessive medication. These can also be caused by neck strain or back strain due to improper posture. Excessive physical activity can also trigger headaches.
- Illness – Fever, infection, colds, or conditions such as sinusitis are other common reasons for headaches.
- Environment – Cigarette smoke, allergens, or powerful smells from perfume, food, or chemicals can also cause headaches. Other possible environmental triggers include pollution, inadequate lighting, noise, and sudden changes in climate or weather.
How can headaches be treated?
There are several different types of treatment available for those suffering from headaches. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may choose a specific type of treatment for you to try, or recommend a headache specialist.
Factors such as frequency, possible cause, and type of headache will determine the right treatment for your headache.
How chiropractic care can be effective against headaches
In 2011, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics or JMPT published a report that proved chiropractic treatment, which includes spinal manipulation, improved the condition of patients suffering from migraines and cervicogenic headaches, and tension headaches.
In another study, 22% of people who sought chiropractic care for treating migraines reported more than 90% reduction in the frequency of attacks, while nearly 50% were pleased to report a significant decrease in the intensity of their headaches.
Mechanical dysfunction of vertebrae in the neck leads to heightened muscle tension and nerve irritation, which can affect the blood flow going into the brain. Chiropractic care is effective for treating most types of headaches, as improving the alignment and movement of the bones in the neck region can help reduce irritation and pressure that causes headaches.
To alleviate any stress that may be causing a patient’s headache, a chiropractor will perform spinal manipulation and other adjustments, improving spinal function. Chiropractors can also provide advice on posture, exercises to try, and relaxation methods, which can be useful in relieving chronic joint irritation and reducing muscle tension in the neck and upper back. In addition, they can also recommend changes in diet and other nutritional advice that can help supplement the treatment.
Due to their extensive training and expertise in the musculoskeletal and nervous system, doctors of chiropractic can help patients suffering from different problems and conditions, including headaches. Because they know how tension in the spine can lead to other problems in different parts of the body, they know exactly which steps to take to provide a lasting solution to those problems.