The ability to think clearly is a crucial skill. A strong headache can wreck that clarity. Most people are affected by headaches at some point, some more often than others. Headaches can be occasional or frequent, dull or debilitating. There are different approaches to dealing with a headache. Some people grit their teeth and try to carry on with their day. Others pop a pill and or take a nap. And some use chiropractic care.
Research shows that one of the primary treatments provided by chiropractic doctors – spinal manipulation – can be an effective treatment for some types of headaches. Common types of headaches are tension, migraine, and cluster headaches.
Tension headaches are one of the most common headaches that afflict people. These headaches usually originate in the upper back and neck and are caused when vertebrae lose their customary position or range of motion. These misalignments place undue demands on surrounding muscles, often causing them to contract or go into spasms which in turn initiates pain registered as a headache.
Through spinal manipulation, chiropractic care can return these misplaced vertebrae to their standard position, alleviating the source of pain. Chiropractors can massage the contracted muscle tissue or apply therapies such as electrical stimulation to the affected muscles to release and remediate the contracted tissue.
Migraine headaches occur when the blood vessels in the brain constrict and later dilate. This causes first a decrease in blood pressure to the brain, followed by a sudden increase. This increase causes the throbbing headache associated with migraine as each heartbeat sends a shock wave of pressure into the brain.
A chiropractor can help to pinpoint and eliminate the triggers that may be causing the migraine. These triggers may include but are not limited to stress, certain types of food, lack of sleep or even flickering lights. Controlling migraine headaches means identifying and avoiding the things that trigger the migraine.
Cluster headaches are short, excruciatingly intense headaches. Contrary to most other types of headaches, cluster headaches tend to happen at night. Cluster headaches get their name from the fact that they tend to occur several times over a short period and then disappear for months or even years before occurring again. Like migraines, cluster headaches can be managed by identifying and avoiding triggers.
A chiropractor has undergone extensive training in order to be well positioned to help their patients overcome pain such as headaches. They know how important the spine is to one’s health and are prepared to examine and diagnose positioning and range of motion problems that can occur within it. By remediating the incorrect positioning and associated muscle and nerve tensions, chiropractors can relieve headache symptoms.
In addition, chiropractors are trained and prepared to offer advice on posture, relaxation techniques and exercises that can assist in avoiding headaches. They also can assess and recommend lifestyle changes such as diet and nutrition that may lessen or avoid headaches altogether. Some chiropractors even offer therapy options such as electrical stimulation and acupuncture to address ongoing headache symptoms.
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