Chiropractic Offers a Comprehensive Approach to Migraines and Headaches
Everyone gets a headache now and then, and some people are unlucky enough to experience frequent migraines. When you feel the throbbing pain developing in your head or behind your eyes, you might be tempted to reach for a bottle of pain medication to ease your symptoms. Unfortunately, if your headaches are frequent enough, you may be subjecting yourself to the harmful side effects of medications without addressing the underlying problem.
What many people don’t realize is that the health of your spine can contribute to headaches and migraines. At Align Wellness Center in Northbrook, IL, we speak to many patients who have no idea that chiropractic has the potential to alleviate their pain in a safe and non-addictive way. If you suffer from these painful problems, here’s what you should know.
Headaches might be related to your spine
There are multiple types of headaches, each with its own underlying cause. In many cases, these problems are related to your spine, the muscles that support it, and your nervous system.
- Tension: Tension headaches stem from muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back. They can cause dull pain around the base of the skull and pain behind the eyes. The underlying problems that lead to tension headaches may include an upper back or neck injury, the overuse of neck muscles, or poor posture.
- Migraine: Migraines are severe headaches that are accompanied by other uncomfortable symptoms, including nausea, aura, dizziness, and sensitivity to noise. Migraines can be caused by a rapid constriction and dilation of the blood vessels in the head. This rapid fluctuation leads to painful pressure. Disruptions to your nervous system’s communication between the body and brain may be related to migraines.
- Cervicogenic: Cervicogenic headaches typically start at the back of your head and migrate forward on one side. You may also experience pain in the neck, shoulder, or arm on the same side as your headache. These headaches often begin because of an injury to or misalignment in the cervical spine that causes referred pain to radiate up into the head.
The chiropractic approach to head pain
The corrective chiropractic approach to headaches does not include a prescription for pain medication that will merely mask your symptoms. Instead, chiropractic approaches like Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) use thorough examinations and diagnostics to uncover the underlying cause of your pain.
Because every person’s symptoms might be different, and the underlying source of your headache could be one of many things, this diagnostic process is absolutely necessary. With this information, your chiropractor can determine the most appropriate course of action that has the greatest potential to provide you with relief.
One of the main methods chiropractic uses to potentially alleviate and prevent headaches is spinal manipulation, or chiropractic adjustments. Manual manipulation intends to correct subluxations of the spinal vertebrae. This may accomplish a few things.
First, it realigns your spine to its proper position, alleviating pressure on the nerves running through and exiting the spinal column. Subluxations can compress nerves, which can interrupt the connections between the body and the brain. By correcting the alignment, your nervous system is able to communicate properly. This method may be particularly useful in treating cervicogenic headaches and migraines.
Second, subluxations may put excessive pressure on the muscles that surround and support the spine. Muscle tension frequently causes a chain reaction, resulting in numerous muscles that are tightened and fatigued. These muscles may be located in your upper back and neck, potentially leading to tension headaches. When the misalignment is corrected, the muscles around the spine are able to maintain balance without additional tension.
Chiropractic care for headaches and migraines is not solely focused on spinal manipulation, though. In their efforts to correct the spine and mitigate headache triggers, your chiropractor can provide a more comprehensive look at headache relief using other therapies and treatment methods. These often complement chiropractic adjustments for a more well-rounded approach.
One such method may be massage therapy. Tissue massage for the neck and upper back may help relieve muscle tension. Your chiropractor may also walk you through stretches and exercises you can do at home. These may help relieve joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck – both things that might trigger or worsen headaches and migraines.
Finally, you may also be given lifestyle advice, including notes on diet, sleep, posture, and exercise. All of these things can trigger migraines and worsen your condition. By leveraging this comprehensive suite of treatment options, chiropractic may not only be effective at relieving existing headaches – it may also be able to prevent them.
If you suffer from frequent migraines or headaches, don’t settle for over-the-counter medications or persistent pain. Contact the team at Align Wellness Center in Northbrook, IL, to learn how we may be able to offer some relief.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.