Headache pain is categorized into many different conditions. You have heard of migraine headache, tension headache, chronic headache, sinus headache, and maybe the, “I drank too much wine last night” headache. There are many studies, books, classes, seminars, specialists, all devoted to headache pain! There are literally billions of dollars spent on medication to treat headache pain every year!
Almost 90% of the population will suffer headache pain. Annually, people seeking treatment for headache pain account for 8 million doctor visits!
Several studies indicate that migraine headache is increasing in frequency among our population. Migraine headache pain causes 157 million days lost from work!
This is a huge problem! It is so common that each of you reading this blog probably have suffered from headache pain or are suffering right now! So what is the answer? How should headache pain be treated or corrected?
There are basically two paths to choose:
2. Alternative treatment
Most of my patients that have consulted us suffering from headaches, already know that repetatively taking pills is not the answer. They want a more long term fix, something that gets to the root cause of the problem. That is where Chiropractic care and even more specifically NUCCA Chiropractic come in. Getting to the cause of the headache is the key!
For example if you have the notorious “I drank too much wine last night headache” then at least you know the cause! You can fix that by not repeating the process. You have to “tough out” the headache though. But if you have a headache, especially a severe headache, the cause may not be that easy to identify. You must choose the treatment carefully, NUCCA Chiropractic may hold the answer!
For those needing more proof of the effectiveness of Chiropractic care in helping people with the headaches, there is a lot of research. In 1996 reseachers at Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center concluded that Chiropractic care was beneficial for treating headache pain. They based their findings on an extensive review of the scientific studies published to date. Here is a quote;
“…Cervical spinal manipulation was associated with improvement in headache outcomes in two trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache. Manipulation appeared to result in immediate improvement in headache severity when used to treat episodes of cervicogenic headache when compared with an attention-placebo control. Furthermore, when compared to soft-tissue therapies (massage), a course of manipulation treatments resulted in sustained improvement in headache frequency and severity.”
There are many research articles that show improvement with headache after Chiropractic care. We are not going to discuss them all. Instead we will look at some mechanisms for why the headache occurs.
There is evidence that when the head and neck misalign then pressure develops on nerves that can cause headache pain. One aspect of head and neck misalignment is the neck shifting forward, also known as forward head posture. This abnormal alignment forces the suboccipital muscles to remain in constant contraction as they elevate the chin, and this puts pressure on the suboccipital nerves. This nerve compression may cause headaches at the base of the skull, and can also mimic sinus (frontal) headaches.
Head and neck misalignment also can mechanically put pressure on the upper spinal cord or “brainstem” and this also will cause headache pain. This misalignment also causes abnormal nerve activity in the complex joints between the neck vertebra, and this mechanism has also been shown to cause headache pain.
So, the bottom line is, headaches are not caused by a lack of aspirin! There are very real mechanical causes that directly lead to headache pain. It makes sense to correct this abnormal mechanical tension on the delicate nerves in the neck, which correct the underlying cause of many headaches.
Don’t suffer, don’t take uneccesary medication, find out the cause of the pain and correct that! Doesn’t that make sense?
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If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com