Can Chiropractic Care Help Your Headache?
A chiropractor can definitely help your spine, but can he or she help your head, especially when you have a headache? The answer is a definite “yes”!
Chiropractors target trigger point areas to alleviate debilitating migraine headaches and tension headaches. Trigger points are nodules located in muscle fibers. For these types of headaches, trigger points are located in the muscles of the lower neck (cervical spine area) and upper back. When the trigger points become knotted, they are a source of pain. The theory is that pain then radiates from these points to create headache pain. Chiropractors have not developed pain patterns; they’ve learned to diagnose and treat based on presenting symptoms such as pain patterns developing due to trigger points. Chiropractors manipulate the vertebrae in your spine to alleviate nerve pressure. When the spine becomes misaligned, the vertebrae press on the nerves and interfere with the nerve signals. That disruption can then cause issues like headaches.
Chiropractors realign your spine using their hands or an instrument called an activator. They follow precise manipulate movements to restore proper nerve signal transmission. When nerve signals are once again normal, pain naturally resolves. The procedure is highly controlled and individualized for each patient.
When you visit a chiropractor regarding headache pain, the doctor will get your health history and then examine you to rule out other causes of the headaches, like tumors, vascular problems or vision issues. The chiropractor will then palpate the trigger point areas to try to diagnose the spinal area that is associated with the migraine pain. Typically, the chiropractor will manipulate the cervical spine to alleviate muscle tension. While no health treatment is completely risk-free, chiropractic adjustments are very safe. Patients rarely experience discomfort, but in some cases, you might have mild muscle soreness.
Tension headaches are very common, but their cause is unknown. These headaches usually produce a dull pain across the forehead and above the eyes. These are stress headaches that start small and grow more intense over time; they can last for hours or days.
The onset of migraines is unpredictable. These headaches are accompanied by throbbing pain, light sensitivity, fuzzy vision, sensitivity to sound and vomiting. While causes are not known, these headaches have been linked to stress, hormones and eating certain foods like wine, cheese or chocolates. A large majority of migraine sufferers report that they have neck pain, which is why chiropractic manipulation of the spine is a helpful, drug-free alternative for alleviating the pain.
A chiropractor’s goal is to re-establish optimal spinal mobility and nerve transmission. The doc might recommend a series of cervical spine manipulations over several weeks, and might also recommend weekly trigger point massage therapy. Depending on the cause of your headaches, the doctor will also likely recommend relaxation techniques, exercise, stress reduction techniques and possible nutritional counseling to avoid trigger foods.
You deserve better for your health, at Access to Health we are here to help. Call us today at (860) 889-1475 to schedule an appointment.