Headaches are one of the most common types of pain that people experience on a regular basis. It is estimated that nine out of ten people in this country suffer from some kind of headache pain which explains why pain relief is a multi billion dollar industry.
The frequency and severity of headaches vary greatly from individual to individual. They range from occasional to near-constant and from mild to throbbing. Some are bad enough to cause nausea and become debilitating, keeping the sufferer from being able to work and enjoy normal life’s activities. Although painkillers are usually the first thing most people think of, chiropractic care can be instrumental in lessening the severity and also frequency.
Although painkillers are usually the first resort for those suffering from a headache, chiropractic care can help lessen both the incidence and severity of this condition.
The largest percentage of headaches fall into a category referred to as “primary headaches”. These are typically caused by tension in the muscles in the neck area or a misalignment (subluxation) of the neck vertebrae. A primary headache refers to the kind of headache that is not a symptom of some other underlying illness. The root cause of headaches due to both tension and misalignment is nerve irritation. The nerve fibers at the base of the neck that connect with the spinal cord and brain become irritated due to muscle tension or to misaligned vertebrae pressing on the spinal cord.
Your chiropractor can perform a thorough examination to identify the cause of your headache pain. Depending on your specific circumstances, he or she may then perform a chiropractic adjustment to take the pressure off irritated nerves, easing headache pain. Your chiropractor can also offer recommendations as to diet, exercise and ergonomics, along with proper posture and relaxation techniques to keep neck tension to a minimum.
Dr. McLelland says, “Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways – not just back pain. They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.