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Headaches

May 2, 2014

There are two main types of headaches; tension headaches and migraines

 

Tension headaches:

 

Characterized by increased muscle tension, most commonly triggered by misalignment of vertebrae in the neck region of the spine, resulting in nerve pressure at the base of the skull. The majority of people experience this tension in the muscles of the neck, upper back and shoulders causing pain to radiate to the head. The pain of tension headaches is generally a steady, constant ache with a feeling of tightness through the neck and head and can affect concentration, create mood swings and result in nausea.

 

Migraine Headache:

 

Usually an intense headache that causes nausea and visual disturbance. Some migraines begin with visual disturbances like partial blind spots in the visual field with a headache beginning soon after.

 

What causes your headache?

 

Most people get so wrapped up in eliminating their pain they forget that the pain has a reason for existing. The pain is telling you there is something wrong! Headaches can result from stress, poor posture, accidents, medications, environmental factors such as pollution and dietary irregularities. Stress can have a huge influence on the spine due to the effect of the inevitable increased muscle tightness associated with this condition.

 

The most common cause and perhaps the most overlooked cause of migraine and headaches is nerve irritation in the upper neck. The nerves in the upper neck supply the head and face so when they get irritated they may refer pain into these areas.

 

Why not just take a pain killer?

 

While medication can provide temporary headache relief, they do not correct the underlying cause of the headache pain. The continual use of pain medication to combat headaches is similar to covering up the warning light that alerts you to a problem in your car!

 

How can Chiropractic help?

 

Your chiropractor will carefully analyse potential headache triggers and perform a detailed orthopedic, neurological and spinal examination to determine the cause of your headache. By carefully restoring proper movement to the spinal joints of the neck, your chiropractor is able to significantly reduce the presence of nerve irritation and muscle tension helping to alleviate the cause of your headaches.

 

Tips from our team!

 

Here are our team's tips for you and your family to help avoid headaches...

  • Stretch every hour if you are sitting in front of a computer or at a desk. Sitting in a fixed position stresses your body and can contribute to tension headache

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration

  • Exercise regularly and try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga

  • Visit a chiropractor for a spinal exam. A chiropractor can improve spinal function and help alleviate stress on your nervous system.

 

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