HEADACHES

If you’re suffering from headaches, you’re not alone.  Research shows that 9 out of 10 people suffer from headaches at some point and many struggle to find a remedy that gives them relief.  An occasional headache may not be extremely debilitating, but when headaches become more frequent and more severe they can really disrupt the your life. The good news is that research shows spinal manipulation (a chiropractic adjustment) and exercises for the neck and shoulder can improve the symptoms of various types of headaches. In fact, besides back and neck pain, headaches are one of the most common reasons patients present to the office.

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.