How Chiropractic Can Assist Headaches
Migraine headaches are only one symptom of the neurological syndrome called â€œMigraineâ€. This syndrome classically also features things like nausea and increased sensitivity to light and sound.2,3,4 Hence any severe headache isn’t necessarily a migraine headache. Migraine headaches are often pulsating in nature, because the blood vessels in the brain expand and become aggravated by the beating of the heart.5
Tension type headaches are by far the most common type of headache. They represent approximately 90% of all headaches.6 The pain associated with these headaches is related to muscle tension around the head and neck. This tension can be caused by stress, sleep deprivation and poor posture.7 As more and more people spend longer hours sitting at computers at work and at home, all three of these causes build up over time to contribute to the tension type headache symptoms.
Medical treatment for tension type headaches consists of over the counter analgesic (pain killing) medications. While this may temporarily alleviate headache symptoms, the muscle tension itself can not be corrected in this way. Studies into the effectiveness of muscle relaxants and antidepressants for tension type headaches have produced very poor results.8
Chiropractic care provides a solution for headache sufferers by improving the structural alignment and movement of spinal joints (usually in the neck) which allows the brain to restore normal muscle tone to the muscles around the head and neck.9,10 Soft tissue therapeutic techniques can also be applied directly to tight muscles to help them return to a normal resting state.