A large number of headaches come from the neck – so can chiropractic treatment for headaches be the solution?
Many people are surprised that Chiropractors treat headache complaints. Often, patients only mention their headaches when directly asked about them during their consultation – even if they are regular sufferers of headaches. As anyone who suffers from headaches on a regular basis will tell you, the pain can be debilitating and have a detrimental impact on quality of life. Some people suffer for years before getting treatment.
In reality, headaches are quite common among people who suffer from neck pain, because tight joints and restricted muscles can cause pain not just locally but elsewhere, including at the base of the skull and up over the head itself. This is called referred pain, and is the same reason people having a heart attack may feel pain in the arm (particularly the left) and up into the neck and jaw.
The headaches you feel right at the base of the skull may be due to tight tender suboccipital muscles, and those felt over the top of the head and around or behind the eye can be caused by tight upper trapezius or SCM muscles of the neck and shoulders. Even people who suffer from migraines often have some biomechanical component to their headaches and frequently get some relief or reduction of their symptoms with Chiropractic treatment.
Of course, there can be other, more rare and serious, causes of headaches, which is why we complete a thorough history and examination in your initial consultation – to assess for these before treating you.
Chiropractic treatment for headaches that result from biomechanical issues – those that come from the neck – involves getting the stiff and tight joints moving properly again using adjustments. In these situations it is important to release the muscle tension before taking control of the lifestyle problems that may be contributing to the issue. Advice may include tips like drinking more water, improving your posture at your desk at work to take pressure off the neck, changing your sleeping position and selecting the right pillow to use. We all know that drinking water to keep ourselves hydrated is a useful tip for avoiding headaches, but so too is keeping your neck joints and muscles in good functional order so they are moving and working as well as they can!
For more information on how we can help you, why not leave me a comment if you have any questions.
If you are suffering from migraines check out Mykels Migraine guide here.
For some self-help advice to help you right now check out this blog on stretches and posture for headache pain.
Thanks for reading!
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By James Revell
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