In the U.S. and across the world, headaches after one of the most common chronic disorders people face. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 50% of the adult population has experienced a headache at least once within the past year. Additionally, 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches at some point in their lives.
Furthermore, headache disorders, which are categorized as recurrent, severe bouts of headache pain, can cause disability, decreased quality of life, financial difficulty, and even an inability to work.
If you’re a headache sufferer, you know exactly how debilitating a bad headache can be. Whether you get migraines or routine headaches, you’ve probably wondered time and time again how to stop theme, and what you need to do to reclaim your quality of life. Luckily, the answer may be more straightforward than you’d imagine:
Chiropractic care addresses the root cause of many headache disorders, promoting healthy alignment in the spine, and ensuring comfort down the road.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches, like joint pain or allergies, have dozens of causes. Because of this, the root issue underlying a problem can be quite tricky to pin down. Common headache triggers include the following:
- Food allergies
- Environmental stimuli, such as noise, lights, or stress
- Behaviors (including insomnia, low blood sugar, excessive exercise, nail-biting, etc.)
- Physical problems (including neck injuries, spinal misalignment, or strains)
- Joint irritation
- Teeth grinding
If you already know what triggers your headache, you’ve got a great place to start. If you don’t, you may have to do some investigative work to determine the cause. Consider keeping a headache journal detailing what you were doing or eating before your headache began. Over time, you’ll be able to identify patterns that expose the root causes of your headaches.
Chiropractic Care and Headaches
If you suffer from headaches, chiropractic care could be an excellent option for getting some relief. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA),
“Research shows that spinal manipulation – one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that interventions commonly used in chiropractic care improved outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain and increased benefit was shown in several instances where a multimodal approach to neck pain had been used. Also, a 2011 JMPT study found that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves migraine and cervicogenic headaches.”
Since the vast majority of headaches are caused by muscle tension or spinal misalignment, chiropractic care is an excellent treatment approach. In addition to addressing the hazards of our sedentary lifestyle, chiropractic care also reduce joint irritation and muscle tension, leading to fewer headache days in a given month.
6 Ways Chiropractors Address Headache Pain
If you’re suffering from recurrent headaches, you need relief. Fortunately, chiropractors are familiar with these particular difficulties and will go above and beyond to ensure you get the career you need. Here are six ways your chiropractor may approach and treat your headaches:
- Perform spinal manipulations and ongoing chiropractic adjustments. These manipulations and adjustments seek to resolve stress in the system, improve the function of the spine, and restore movement and mobility to your neck, upper back, and shoulders.
- Provide nutritional advice. In some cases, recurrent headaches are a sign that your body is getting too much of something or not enough of something else. In these cases, your chiropractor may recommend a change in your diet, or the addition of supplements, like B vitamins or Iron. Your chiropractor may also consider your hydration, as this is a critical factor in headache prevention. According to the ACA, people who drink at least eight 9-ounce glasses of water each day will avoid dehydration and be much less prone to headaches in the future.
- Offer advice on posture. Postural problems are a significant underlying cause for many headaches. If you fit into this category, your chiropractor will likely correct your daily ergonomics (work postures), and recommend a variety of exercises and relaxation techniques meant to improve strength and posture.
- Recommend complementary therapies. These therapies will work alongside your chiropractic adjustments. They may include heat therapy, acupuncture, and massage.
- Perform x-rays. X-rays are advanced images and will rule out fractures, injuries, or other causes that could be underlying your headache pain.
- Perform deep neck flexor exercises. These exercises seek to actively move your joints and muscles in controlled and guided ways. This restores mobility and decreases tension.
Of course, no two headache disorders are precisely the same. This may mean your chiropractor will take more or fewer approaches to treat your unique pain, depending on the underlying cause and the circumstances surrounding your headaches. No matter what the case may be, it’s essential to work with your chiropractor to come up with a treatment plan that suits your condition and your life.
Kick Your Headaches to the Curb
Headaches are uncomfortable, unpleasant, and an interruption to your daily life. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with them. Instead of suffering through yet another headache this year, book an appointment with a chiropractor today.
A chiropractor can help you identify the root cause of your headaches and come p with a treatment plan to address them. Within a few months of chiropractic care, most patients see a dramatic decrease in the frequency and severity of their headaches.
Could you be one of them? Contact our office to book your first appointment today!