Headaches - March

Sinus Headaches: A Chiropractic Approach

Headache and Chiropractics

A build up of pressure within the sinus cavities can become painful and cause pressure in the head, creating a sinus headache.  The pain or pressure is felt in the forehead or eyes and is typically caused by a buildup of pressure within the sinus cavity due to the inability of the sinuses to drain.  There are other factors that contribute to sinus headaches such as cervicogenic components or problems arising from the neck region due to misaligned vertebrae creating nerve pressure.

Chiropractors work on reducing the nerve pressure by restoring proper spinal alignment to the neck through a series of specific adjustments to the subluxated or misaligned vertebrae.  Once the pressure is removed from the nerve and it begins to heal, the sinuses will have the ability to drain properly.   Specific chiropractic care to the area of the neck can reduce the tension of the soft palate and or muscles of the throat, reduce swelling around the openings of the sinuses, and restore alignment of the neck.  These will all allow the sinuses to drain normally and prevent future problems with sinus pressure.  All of these can be achieved without harmful side effects and are safe for people of every age.

Migraine Headaches: a Chiropractic Approach

Headache and Chiropractics

Classified into two types, common and classic, migraine headaches normally cover half of the forehead and one eye. The pain however can also spread from the back of the head or be located behind both eyes. The common migraine is less severe than the classic and is often associated with a pulsing headache and nausea. The classic migraine is preceded by an ‘aura’ which is described as flashing lights as well as light sensitivity. Migraines are thought to be caused by changes in the function of the nervous system or vascular system as well as chemical imbalances within the body.

With chiropractic care all of these causes can be addressed. Chiropractors work with the nervous system which can indirectly make changes to the vascular system as well as the chemical balance of the body. With migraine headaches the common area to adjust is in the upper or lower neck. Both of these areas contain nerves which would control the fore mentioned systems that cause the migraines. Along with chiropractic adjustments, chiropractors can help to identify specific triggers as well as give nutritional advice. Some common supplements that have been shown to help with migraines include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, and others.

Relieving Tension Headaches with Chiropractic

Headache and Chiropractics

Tension headaches typically start at the back of your head and move forward eventually including your neck, scalp, and head.  It feels like having a tight band across your head.  Some common causes of tension headaches include:

  1. staying in one position for long periods of time
  2. stress
  3. nerve irritation.

Chiropractors work on removing the pressure on the nerve by delivering a specific adjustment.  In the case of a tension headache, the most common areas to be adjusted are up in the neck.  When improper signals are sent to the musculature of the neck is causes them to tighten up putting a lot of tension on the neck and back of the head.   When a chiropractor removes the pressure of the nerve with an adjustment to the region of the neck, proper communication can once again be restored between the brain and rest of the body.

Along with an adjustment, other helpful measures to resolve tension headaches include:

  • B complex vitamins
  • avoiding being in a fixed position for long periods of time (computer use, reading)
  • low impact exercises
  • avoid gum chewing or teeth clinching
  • drinking at least eight 8 oz glasses of water daily

Headaches and Chiropractic

Headache and Chiropractics

Caffeine, low blood sugar, muscle spasm, stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, nerve irritation and noises -- what do they all have in common?  They're all triggers or causes of headaches and migraines.

Each week, throughout March, we will be talking about and discussing headaches. We will talk about the different types and triggers, of each, as well as what chiropractic can do to help. The types of headaches we will cover include:

  • tension headaches
  • cluster headaches
  • migraine headaches
  • sinus headaches
  • organic headaches.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, nine out of ten people have suffered from a headache at some point in time.  Headaches can be categorized into several different groups such as tension, cluster, or migraine.  These three types constitute ninety-five percent of all headaches.  However, it isn't the group that is important, but rather, the cause.  A majority of these headaches are caused by tension in the neck.  When people spend a large quantity of time in fixed positions or postures, such as sitting at a computer desk, joint irritation and muscle tension are common.  Other triggers of headaches include nerve irritation and improper nutrition.

Ten percent of all patients, seeing a chiropractor, suffer from headaches.  Fortunately, ninety-five percent of the time, headaches will respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments.  A report released by the Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center, in Durham, NC, found that chiropractic adjustments resulted in immediate improvement of headaches that originated from the neck; and had significantly fewer side effects, with longer-lasting relief than when using prescription medications.  The American Chiropractic Association recommends taking a break and stretching, every thirty minutes, if you spend a lot of time in one position.  Also recommended, is drinking eight glasses of water each day, low impact exercise and avoiding teeth clenching, to reduce the incidence of headaches.

What can chiropractic do for someone who is suffering from headaches and migraines?  First and foremost, a chiropractor can relieve and reduce nerve irritation and allow proper spinal function, reducing the amount of stress on the body.  They achieve this by performing a specific adjustment to areas of the spine that show evidence of inflammation and/or subluxation.

Chiropractors can also advise you about proper ergonomics and posture, stretching techniques and nutritional information.  With extensive training, specializing in the human anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, chiropractors have all the tools needed to help.  Don't be in the ten percent of Americans who needlessly suffers from headaches and migraines.  Call our office, today, for a consultation appointment with one of our doctors.