Headache & Chiropractic
How to Relieve Excruciating Headache Pain Without Drugs or Harmful Side Effects
If you’ve bought into the commonly-held belief that chiropractic care is just for back pain sufferers, you’re not alone. But there is growing evidence of late that chiropractic care can also get to the root of the causes behind many recurring headache woes, including migraines and cluster headaches. But let’s start off with an overview of the types of headaches and their causes.
What are migraine and cluster headaches?
According to Medicine.net, migraine headaches are the second most common type of headache (after tension headaches), affecting roughly 28 million Americans, from children to adults. Migraine sufferers might see spots that blur their vision, have trouble concentrating, and report a cold sensation in their fingers.
Cluster headaches occur often, sometimes twice per day, for a period of several weeks or months at a time, followed by a few months or even years of pain relief. The pain associated with these headaches is excruciating and can last for 30-90 minutes at a time, often showing up around the same time each day and even jarring sufferers from a deep sleep.
While neither of these headache types are life-threatening, they can severely limit your ability to perform regular daily activities and can drastically affect your overall quality of life if left untreated.
What causes migraine and cluster headaches?
Migraine headaches come about when blood vessels in the head and neck contract and then dilate, a situation typically caused by hormonal fluctuations. The pain associated with migraines is caused by an over-dilation of the vessels, swelling in the brain, and muscle tension.
While the exact cause of tension headaches is currently unknown, they are believed to be brought on by abnormal activity in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls the body’s biological clock. Cluster headaches often run in families and can be activated by changes in sleep patterns or certain medications. Tobacco and alcohol can also trigger episodes for people who are susceptible to cluster headaches.
Finding relief from debilitating headaches
Chiropractic headache care can provide immediate relief, in most cases, without the side effects of the prescription and over-the-counter medications many chronic headache sufferers gulp down on a daily or weekly basis. Furthermore, because chiropractic care for headache relief does often get to the root of what’s causing the headaches, patients can expect long-lasting results, without having to rely on taking their medication on a regular basis.
Alleviate Headache Pain Before It Starts
In addition to regular chiropractors treatment, there are several other steps you can take to help ward off headache pain before it starts. You can try:
- Regularly stretching at least once an hour, especially if you spend a lot of time in one position (such as sitting in front of a computer)
- Performing low-impact exercise at least 3 days per week
- Drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration, a leading cause of headaches
- Eating a diet low on fat but full of high-complex carbs, which can lower the frequency and duration of migraines
- Practice relaxation techniques to help ease stress
- Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
What to Expect During Your Chiropractic Visit
Because all patients and their conditions are unique, we will perform a full evaluation and present you with a treatment plan that’s just right for you.
Often, the problem is that the bones in your neck are "misaligned", causing tension in the surrounding muscles and nerves. Sometimes these misalignments are so slight that they are easily missed by other medical practitioners who aren’t trained to recognize when the intricate placement of bones is slightly off base. Chiropractors, on the other hand, are trained to treat this condition by gently guiding the bones back into place and more normal movements.
We will also provide other recommendations for headache relief, such as teaching you stretching exercises you can do at home and showing you the best sleep positions to avoid straining your neck (and potentially spurring a headache).
We can usually help you identify and treat the root of your headaches…giving you instant, and often lasting relief. Please call us at to schedule an evaluation, today!
You don’t have to learn to live with chronic neck pain anymore, not on our watch. Schedule an appointment with us today and we’ll help you get started on the road to a pain-free lifestyle.