If you suffer from headaches you're not alone. 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches which can sometimes cause debilitating pain and nausea. Headaches can present themselves in many different ways, some are occasional, some frequent, and some are dull and throbbing. Some people experience headaches in part of their head, behind the eyes or they may experience a pounding sensation in the whole head. Whatever type of headache you may experience, it's important to know that there are effective treatment options other than the commonly prescribed medications. Numerous research studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments are very effective for treating headaches, especially headaches that originate in the neck. A 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulation is an effective treatment for headaches and that those who sought chiropractic treatment sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache among adults and affect 30 - 80% of the U.S. population. Tension headaches may be occasional or frequent and may be described as a mild to moderate constant band-like pain, tightness, or pressure around the forehead or back of the head and neck. These headaches usually begin slowly and gradually and may last for 30 minutes to several days. In some cases chronic tension headaches may persist for many months. Although the pain at times may be severe, tension headaches are usually not associated with other symptoms, such as nausea, throbbing or vomiting. When a vertebra (spinal bone) is misaligned or out of place, it presses on the on nerves that exit the spine above and below it, causing nerve interference. When nerve interference is present, it disrupts the communication link between the brain and the affected body part, causing dis-ease and other conditions such as headaches. The misplaced bone is most often located in the upper cervical spine (top of the spine). Chiropractic helps with these types of misalingments or subluxations.
Migraine headaches are intense and throbbing headaches that are often associated with nausea and sensitivity to light or noise. Migraine headaches can last from as little as a few hours to as long as a few days. Many of those who suffer from this type of headache experience visual symptoms called "aura" just prior to an attack that is ofted described as seeing flashing lights or that everything takes on a dream-like experience.
A doctor of chiropractic will perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system. Your chiropractor may also offer advice on posture, ergonomics, exercise and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.