18 Apr

Headaches and Chiropractic Care

Posted by Dr. Amanda Lee Categories: Chiropractic
Headaches and Chiropractic Care

I was watching a game show the other night with my husband and the question to the contestant was “what is cephalgia?”  I knew the answer right away but unfortunately the contestant did not and it was the end of the road for him.   “Cephalgia” is a medical term for general head and neck pain that can range in intensity from mild to severe.  Possibly, cephalgia is a new word for you as well, however I am quite sure that headache is a term you have heard a lot of and most likely have even experienced one yourself.  

Every week, I encounter patients complaining and suffering from headaches and they seek out massage therapy and chiropractic care as a solution.  Rather than taking analgesics to temporarily mask the pain these patients want permanent relief.  I am always happy when they tell me this because I know that chiropractic can help and the results are lasting.

There are many causes of headaches but one of the most common types is called a muscular tension headache. The cause of muscular tension headaches is right in the name…muscle tension!  A triangle of muscles located at the base of the skull, are known as the sub-occipital muscles or the sub-occipital triangle.  These muscles often build up extreme amounts of tension and the prolonged contraction of these little muscles can cause severe headache pain.  It is quite amazing that these little muscles can create so much pain.   The cause of this muscular tension in your neck can vary from poor posture, sitting at the computer for work, or even be caused from working out with weights or doing cardio.  When the muscles of your body (and in this case your neck) are in a constant state of tension they often cause other problems such as joint misalignments/joint restrictions and the possibility of nerve compression/impingements. 

 Chiropractic treatment is effective in treating headaches by first reducing the muscle tension of the neck and then by adjusting the vertebrae of the neck to realign the vertebral column.  The combination of these two treatments is often the answer to relieving chronic headaches.  Many of my patients have eliminated their headaches completely by adhering to a wellness plan and getting adjusted every 4-6 weeks.

 It is important to realize that there are other causes of headaches such as being physically exhausted, not getting enough sleep, not eating frequently enough, or being overly stressed in general.  These are all controllable factors that require a headache sufferer to make changes to his or her lifestyle.  In addition, there are a small percentage of people that suffer from true migraines.  These people experience an entirely different kind of headache that involves food triggers, sensitivity to noise, light and smell and often report an unusual aura around them. 

 Every person and every situation is different, so it always best practice to make an appointment with a health professional to discuss the kind of headaches that are plaguing you.  If you suspect that your headaches may be muscular tension headaches book an appointment online with Dr. Lee and see what chiropractic can do for you.

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