Chiropractic Care and Headaches

Most of us have experienced the seemingly unbearable pain caused by a headache. In fact, headaches are one of America’s most commonly reported health conditions every year. This article will provide information on some common causes of headaches and tips on avoiding and treating them.

Headache Triggers

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About five percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

In addition, people today engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.

woman holding her sinuses having a headache
man going on a hike near a river and woods

What Can You Do?

Consider these lifestyle strategies to prevent and help alleviate headaches:

  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer or on a cell phone, typing, playing video games or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
  • Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
  • Drink an adequate amount of water each day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

-Fernandez M, Moore C, Tan J, Lian D, Nguyen J, Bacon A, Christie B, Shen I, Waldie T, Simonet D, Bussières A. Spinal manipulation for the management of cervicogenic headache: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Pain. 2020 Oct;24(9):1687-1702. doi: 10.1002/ejp.1632. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PMID: 32621321. ACA – Hands Down Better

Treating Headaches With Chiropractic Therapy

Various methods of chiropractic therapy have proven to treat headaches effectively. Chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulation, can reduce inflammation and nerve irritation, alleviating your headache pain. At Merckling Family Chiropractic, we may also recommend exercises and stretches that help prevent future headaches. Additionally, we can provide you with therapeutic nutritional products and dieting strategies that reduce the risk of experiencing headaches.

Chiropractic Treatment Tailored to Your Needs

The causes of headaches are unique to each individual who experiences them. Therefore, we develop chiropractic treatment plans that cater to your individual needs. Our personalized approach to chiropractic care helps ensure a positive outcome for all of our patients.

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