Problems of… Headache
Problems concerning headaches should not be masked with medication. You should go see your Doctor of Chiropractic to locate and treat the root of the problem.
Headache and Chiropractic
It is estimated that a quarter part of the population suffers from headaches on a regular basis. Despite its frequency, these ailments should not be considered normal at all. Pain is always an alarm signal that something is wrong in our body. It may be due to much more serious problems such as hypertension, visual disturbances, neurological diseases or even brain tumors.
In no case should you mask pain with medication. You have to go to a specialist to inquire about it’s true cause. Your Doctor of Chiropractic will confirm if the root of the problem is located in the cervical spine – if necessary, he will refer you to the appropriate professional, and will offer you a fast and effective treatment to solve the problem before it gets worse.
Headache from tension or migraine
Within the various types of headaches, those produced by tension are the most common. This is often due to the spine losing its normal curvature, which can be caused by a combination of factors: bad posture (at work, sleeping), falls, hits, accidents, injuries; of the type whiplash, nervous tension, stress, etc.
To compensate for this cervical straightening and to maintain the head in a normal position, the neck muscles are working excessively, coming into spasm and create strong contractures.
Furthermore, these cervical problems can provoke, in the long run, a vertebral wear down, as for example cervical osteoarthritis and included a herniated disc. Because of this, it is important not to mask the problem with medication, but find and treat the cause of the problem.
Another frequent headache – and the most painful – is the migraine. This stabbing pain, normally located on one side of the head, frequently gets aggravated by light and is accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Migraine occurs as a consequence of a constriction of the head’s blood vessels, and the posterior dilation of these is what produces the pain. Despite the fact that there is a hereditary predisposition, migraines are not normal and it has to be treated properly searching for the root of the problem.
It is often thought that migraines are due to factors such as menstruation, ingestion of certain foods or liver problems, when in reality, many times these only reveal latent problems.
In persons that suffers from headaches and migraines, we frequently come across a spinal disorder, a vertebral subluxation that affects the part of the nervous system that controls the blood vessel function. To detect it and, in the case it’s a positive, to be able to treat it, it is recommended to do a complete chiropractic check-up of the entire spine.
Step by step treatment
For problems with headaches from tension, your Doctor of Chiropractic will work on your spine specifically targeting the cervical spine to restore its correct curvature (cervical lordosis) and alignment, in addition to returning the appropriate range of motion.
In problems related to headaches, especially, your Doctor of Chiropractic will focus on the upper cervical area: C0, C1 and C2 (occipital, atlas, and axis)
A correct biomechanical realignment of the cervical structure will allow the neck muscles to relax, and return to a correct muscle tone within the normal range of motion and ending the painful spasms.
The migraines will improve when correcting the spinal malfunction that affects the part of the nervous system that is responsible for and controls vasodilation and vasoconstriction of blood supply to the head.
Remember that it is not normal to suffer from headaches. Check with your Doctor of Chiropractic so he can examine you, take care of you and/or refer you to the appropriate specialist.
CONTRAINDICATED TO SIT
In the first 10 to 15 minutes after your visit it is contraindicated to sit down.
During this period of time it is necessary to walk to mobilize the joints that we just release and walking also facilitate better joint lubrication and nutrition of the intervertebral discs.
IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS
During the next 24 hours following the first sessions avoid any excessive effort.
Otherwise, the effectiveness of the adjustment received will decrease.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Before and after every visit, avoid all kinds of tension.
Both physical and mental. The more relaxed you are the more benefit you will get from your treatment.
The set appointments must be respected.
They have been established to obtain the best results.
AFTER AN ADJUSTMENT
The sensations that each person may experience after an adjustment may vary without affecting the result and benefit of the treatment in the medium and long term.
After an adjustment, you may experience a feeling of relaxation, having a lot of energy, general well-being, disappearance or relief of symptoms, soreness or pain.
You may sometimes even experience discomfort since the body has to adapt to the new posture and position.
Links of interest
Efficacy of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Headache: A Systematic Review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001; 24 (7) Sept: 457–466
Lazarou JL, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients. A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Journal of American Medical Association, 1998; 279: 1200-5.
The Effect of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Cervicogenic Headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1997; 20 (5) Jun: 326-330
Hurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adams AH, Meeker WC, Shekelle PG. Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine. A systematic review of the literature. Spine, 1996; 21: 1746-59.
Wolfe MM, Lichtenstein DR, Singh G. Gastrointestinal toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. New England Journal of Medicine, 1999; 340(24); 1888-1889.
Bove G, Nilsson N. Spinal manipulation in the treatment of episodic tension-type headache, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 11, 1998; vol. 280, no. 18, pp1576-79.
Zwart J. Neck Mobility in different headache disorders. Headache, Jan. 1997; vol. 37, pp6-11.
Nelson CF. The Tension Headache, Migraine Headache Continuum: A Hypothesis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, March/April 1994; vol. 17, no. 3, pp156-66.