Chronic headaches are a common debilitating problem here in the US, affecting approximately 45 million Americans! There are many types of headaches with many causes. Historically, people have sought treatment with medications, but are now opening themselves to various alternative forms of therapy in an attempt to find relief. More and more people are discovering the effectiveness of chiropractic, massage, and therapy in reducing headaches.
The key is first trying to figure out what type of headache you are having. Are they migraines, tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches, or something more sinister? Once we’ve determined the type of headache, and ruled out any dangerous pathological conditions that may be manifesting as pain in the head, we can work on relieving your symptoms.
An extremely common cause of headaches is tension within the neck and shoulders. Dysfunction within the joints of the cervical spine (the neck) can irritate nerves that send pain into various regions of the head. Tight, injured, or fatigued muscles in the neck or shoulders can also refer pain into the head. A knot in the trapezius muscle in the shoulder for instance, may not cause any pain in that particular muscle, but instead manifest as pain in the temples of the head. It sounds strange, but referral pain in the body is actually very common. People experiencing heart attacks often only feel pain in their left arm. This is an example of referral pain as well.
Although I can’t guarantee improvement in headache pain, I have seen amazing results over and over throughout my chiropractic career. In many of the cases, traditional cures and medication had failed, and the individual had given up hope of ever finding relief. I love it when someone comes to me as a last resort, and treatment with me relieves their pain!
Chiropractic, massage, and physiotherapy are safe, natural forms of treatment, and they can be very effective in treating many kinds of headaches. Also, working together, we can seek to discover and alter activities in your day to day life that are triggering the headaches.