Causes of Headaches
Diagnosing a headache is always the first step to formulating an effective treatment strategy. Without finding the root of your headache, you’ll typically just end up treating the symptoms for temporary relief. Headaches may have a variety of causes or triggers but some of the most common causes are poor posture, muscular weakness and imbalance, trigger points, or other musculoskeletal dysfunction.
The overwhelming majority of headaches are considered primary headaches, in other words, they’re not the manifestation of an underlying disease or serious physical problem. In these cases the headache itself is the primary concern, and these are the headaches that our chiropractic physicians have the skills to effectively.
Headaches that Chiropractors can Treat
Tension type headaches (TTH): Also known as a muscle contraction headache or a stress headache these are the most common type of headache and are typically described as a “vise grip” or “band-like.” Other qualities include having a tightness quality, not being aggravated by routine daily activities, and being on both sides of the head.
Cervicogenic headache: This headache is an exception, because it is actually not a primary headache. Pain in the head is actually referred from somewhere in the neck in this case. Patients who have these often experience a stiff neck, tightness in the tissues around the neck, pain on one side of the head, and they may be able to press on a specific spot in the neck that either aggravates or relieves the head pain.
Migraine headache: Migraines are one-sided headaches and cause a throbbing sensation. Sometimes patients can feel these coming on because of visual cues such as spots and extreme sensitivity to light. These headaches may cause someone to avoid light and sound, and sometimes can cause nausea and vomiting.
While this is not a complete list, it covers the most common headaches that respond well to chiropractic treatments. Sometimes, our chiropractors may feel that you should follow-up with a neurologist or other medical doctor for co-management of the headache and will refer you to the proper provider for another opinion. If your headache doesn’t fit into one of these categories, feel free to call our Cary chiropractic office and ask one of our chiropractic physicians if they can help.