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It is estimated that 90% of men and 95% of women had at least one headache last year. Studies have also suggested that despite this large number of headaches, about half of sufferers fail to seek treatment. Unfortunately, this means that a large portion of those with headaches are either suffering needlessly or they are self-treating with medications — neither of these “solutions” addresses the cause(s) of the headaches and, therefore, there is no prevention of future pain. This is not control. To take control of your headaches, seek care from your Doctor of Chiropractic.

  • Primary headaches include tension-type, migraine, and cervicogenic headache.
  • Tension-type headaches, sometimes called muscle contraction, are by far the most common type, accounting for an estimated 85% of all head pain. Men and women suffer from tension headaches at equal rates. Pain is generally mild to moderate, can last for a few hours to a full day, and is usually felt in the back of the neck and on the scalp. They may be caused by stress and can become chronic, with some people suffering daily headaches.
  • Migraine headaches are notorious for their severity and potential for unusual symptoms. Women are more likely to suffer from migraines than men, although before puberty and after menopause, males and females suffer at approximately equal rates. Migraines may run in families and can, therefore, affect children. The American Council for Headache Education (ACHE) believes that “if one parent has migraine, the child has a 50 percent chance of having migraine. If both parents have them, there is a 75 percent chance that the child will have them, too.”

Migraine pain is often severe and disabling, affecting work, family, and social lives. There are two types of migraine — those with aura and those without. Both types are characterized by throbbing pain, typically on one side of the head (pain may alternate sides); nausea and vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity. Migraine with aura also includes visual disturbances (the “aura”) such as jagged lines or flashing lights in the visual field, blind spots, or even visual or auditory hallucinations. Disruptions in smell, taste, and touch may also be experienced.

Cervicogenic headaches are those caused by aberrations in the structures of the neck, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, or cervical spinal discs. In fact, cervicogenic means originating in the neck. Symptoms of cervicogenic headache can mimic both tension and migraine headache.

Fortunately, your Doctor of Chiropractic can differentiate between the types of headache and their causes. Research has shown that chiropractic management of these types of headache is effective and safe. Some research suggests that not seeking treatment for chronic headaches can lead to psychiatric disorders, such as depression.

The Treatment

Only after a diagnosis of your headache type and the determination of its causes will chiropractic treatment begin — if it is determined that chiropractic is the form of care most appropriate for your case. If it is found that another type of treatment would be beneficial, you will be referred to the most suitable health care provider.

If chiropractic care will best meet your needs, treatment will begin after it is first outlined and explained to you. Chiropractic is a form of care that uses several means of treatment to reach the desired result. Treatment may include spinal adjustment (also called manipulation) to improve spinal alignment; physical modalities such as application of heat or ice

, massage, or others may be used; and specific recommendations to improve your diet, exercise, posture, or sleeping habits will be discussed as they affect your headache frequency. Relaxation techniques may also be discussed.

The Prevention

Once your Doctor of Chiropractic has determined the cause(s) of your headaches, you will know how to avoid them in the future. For example, if it is found that your headaches tend to occur following a late lunch, future care to eat at regular intervals will prevent at least some of your headaches.

Follow all recommended changes to lifestyle (such as improvements in diet, nutrition, exercise, and posture) and keep all health care appointments. The bottom line is that they are your headaches — you can be the one to control them.

80% of headaches originate from the neck. Usually an increased amount of stress and tension held in the shoulders causes contractions of all of the surrounding neck muscles. When these muscles contract, vertebrae can become misaligned causing pressure on spinal nerves, and ultimately pain. With a typical cervicogenic (neck origin) headache, a person usually feels pain starting at the base of the skull which radiates into the temples, eyeballs, and forehead. There may be several other causes of headaches, so a proper examination is needed to determine the actual cause.

If you or anyone that you know has been suffering with any of the conditions mentioned above call (843) 771-4286 to receive a FREE consultation with Dr. Taylor to address you health concerns.