Headaches and migraines

After lower back and neck pain, headaches are one of the most common symptoms people present to a Chiropractor for assessment and treatment. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. There can be many causes of headaches however, research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by chiropractors – may be an effective treatment option for various types of headaches.

If the vertebrae in your neck are restricted or misaligned they can interfere with the free flow of impulses through the nerves in your neck or they could cause tension in the small muscles which support your head. This tension causes pain. These are just a couple of the ways that problems in your neck can lead to headaches. A chiropractor’s approach is to use adjustments of the spine to restore normal function to the joints of the neck. In this way Chiropractic is targeting the underlying cause of your problem and not just masking the symptoms.

Headache Triggers

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, stress or noise, to name but a few, but about 5% of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems. Identification of triggers is essential and behavioural or lifestyle changes can play an important role in achieving a return to full health.

What Can Be Done?

Chiropractic has been shown to help reduce the severity and frequency of headaches and migraine attacks and the treatment can also help resolve many of the after effects some patients experience. These may include relieving restricted movement in the neck, upper back and shoulders and helping correct any postural issues that may influence the occurrence of both migraines and tension headaches.

Whilst there are a number of medications available that aim to control migraines, they are nearly all to reduce pain and do not address the cause of the migraines. It has been clinically proven that tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, therefore Chiropractors can take steps to relieve these problems. With a combination of Chiropractic care and taking more care over your own health, reoccurring headaches or migraines can be a thing of the past.

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