What is a headache?
Headaches are the body’s alarm system. You body is telling you something’s out of balance. Pain relievers may temporarily turn off the alarm switch, but usually don’t put out the fire. Your chiropractor, however, can diagnose your type of headache, often tension or migraine, treat its underlying physical causes, and help you learn how to prevent headaches in the future.
What causes a headache?
I am sure you have heard the saying “It’s all in your head” but when it comes to headaches that couldn’t be further from the truth. You may feel the pain’s all in your head. But your headache probably started with a spinal misalignment in your neck, which must balance and move your head with “ballerina like” control. Poor posture, such as during long, stressful commutes, can lead to mis-alignments, triggering a tension headache. Or stress and certain substances, like coffee or cigarettes, can trigger a migraine headache.
Your chiropractor can help you get to the root of your problem. They are specially trained to evaluate and treat spinal problems, including those leading to headaches. Your chiropractor can help relieve your pain with spinal adjustments and related treatment, such as ice packs. You also can learn what to do to prevent future headaches, such as sleeping with good posture.
What kind of headaches are you having?
As I stated before there are basically two types of headaches, tension and migraine. Here are some questions that will help you determine what type of headaches are suffering from.
- ⇒ Do you have steady, dull, tight pain around your scalp or neck?
- ⇒ Does the pain begin in the back or your neck and move forward throughout your whole head?
- ⇒ Do you sleep on your stomach with your head twisted to the side, or sit for long periods bent over in one position?
- ⇒ Does your neck and shoulder muscles feel stiff?
- ⇒ Does stress or fatigue, like that felt during long work days, trigger your headaches?
- ⇒ Do you have throbbing pain that feels like a hammer is pounding in your head?
- ⇒ Do you usually feel pain on the left side of your head or the right side?
- ⇒ Are your headaches accompanied by other symptoms, like:
- visual disturbances?
- sensitivity to light, noise, odors?
- ⇒ Have other family members had migraines?
- ⇒ Does stress, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, MSG, smoking, or menstruation trigger your headaches?
Your Chiropractor Evaluation
Which ever type of headaches your suffering from your chiropractor can help find the root cause and plan specific treatment and prevention program for you. The evaluation may include a health history, physical exam, x-rays and special tests if needed. Your chiropractor asks questions to begin to determine whether you are having tension or migraine headaches. A physical exam helps locate the cause of your headache and x-rays rule out other problems and may help confirm your diagnosis.