Headaches and Migraines
Its Headache awareness month this month at the practice and its an area that im especially passionate about.
Before I came into chiropractic I suffered with terrible headaches, at least four times a week. I was taking painkillers most days to help ease them. Once i started having regular chiropractic sessions they eased as they were related to my neck and now I hardly ever have them.
Please enjoy this months blog and if you suffer with headaches or migraines yourself or know anyone that does please call the practice today to book an appointment.
Around 40 per cent of Britons suffer from headaches at some point to the extent that it affects their quality of life. It is also one of the most common complaints seen by GPs and in neurological clinics. Headaches cost the UK about £3 billion per year, through days off work and costs to the NHS. Millions of pounds each year is spent on over-the-counter and prescription drugs in their search for permanent relief from headaches and migraines. For some, the medication works. Unfortunately for many the relief obtained is temporary at best. A cycle of headaches and medication often occurs without any lasting relief found.
What Causes a Headache?
There are many different types of headaches and migraine, all which caused by various factors including trauma, emotional stress, nutritional deficiencies or chemical toxins, or a combination of all of the above. However one of the most common causes of headaches comes from the neck
Recent studies link headache pain to nerve irritation in the neck. One study, conducted by Dr. Wright found that many migraine headache sufferers had misalignments of the spinal vertebrae in the neck that was placing pressure on the spinal nerves. Another study conducted at the University of Maryland, found a connection between muscle tension at the base of the neck and headaches. Muscle contractions interfere with the sensitive fibers at the base of the neck that lead to the brain and spinal cord. This muscle tension often plays a contributing factor to headache pain. Our remedy of headache pain is two-fold:
Remove pressure on the nerves caused by spinal misalignments.
Reduce tension in neck muscles to minimize nerve pressure due to tight muscles.
This strategy works for many headache sufferers, not only in our practice but also in several studies. One such study, conducted by the government of New Zealand found that the majority of people who suffered from spinal misalignments had their headaches relieved or their condition improved through chiropractic care. And in follow-up studies of the same patients it was found that many were still without recurring headache pain two years later.
Of course, not all headaches can be helped with chiropractic care. But, if you suffer from persistent migraine of tension headaches you should have a chiropractic consultation and examination to see if chiropractic care could help you, not only with the pain but to improve your quality of life. If we cannot help you we will tell you, and we can refer you to another health care professional that can help.
Are They Normal ?
Headaches may be common but they are definitely not normal. Any symptoms/pain is not normal. It’s the bodys way to alert you that the nervous system is not working to its optimum and it needs to be addressed. The most common remedy for headaches or migraine is painkillers. Whilst painkillers may be affective in the short term they only mask your pain and are not dealing with the underlying cause.
Can Chiropractic Really Get Rid Of My Headaches?
It will help to understand what causes most headaches. Your spine protects your nervous system which starts with the brain and becomes the spinal cord. When the vertebrae in your neck are unable to move properly, it irritates or puts pressure on the nerves in that area. That can cause headaches. To correct this problem a chiropractor would work on the spinal joints, nerves and surrounding musculature.
Why Would I Have Spinal Problems In My Neck?
There are many reasons. They can originally occur during the birth process, and as your body grows and matures. Also, falls, sports activities, motor vehicle accidents, bad posture or simply the stresses of daily living can cause spinal problems. It is also very common for headache sufferers to experience neck pain and stiffness.
But My Headaches Are Migraines?
Migraine headaches are usually severe and sharp, throbbing in nature, and generally affect one side of the head. Tension headaches tend to occur frequently, last a long time and are characterized by a dull, steady pain that feels like a band of pressure around the head. But despite these differences they are closely related. Chiropractic care has been proven to be extremely effective in treating migraine and cervicogenic (headaches coming from the neck) headaches as well as neck pain and stiffness.
What Will Chiropractic Do To Treat My Headaches?
Your first visit will include a thorough consultation and examination to help diagnose your problem. Once your condition is fully understood, your chiropractor will explain your test results and outline a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. Your chiropractor will use highly skilled, gentle techniques to adjust the spine.
Once My Headache Stops, Does The Chiropractic Care End?
Your body continues to heal after the pain has gone. Continuing to have chiropractic care helps to retrain your vertebrae to hold their healthy positions. Your nervous system will function more efficiently and your body will be better able to heal itself. In time, exercise, a healthy diet, and periodic visits to the chiropractor will help you stay healthy, pain free, and live liife to the fullest.
If you require any other information regarding this topic please do not hesitate to call our practice on 0845 108 8533.