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Headaches

If you are a headache sufferer, you share this painful condition with over 45 million other Americans. Headaches account for over 150 million bed ridden days each year and they cost employers over $13 billion annually. We realize the devastating effects headaches have on people and we would like to try and help.

What are Some of the Types and Causes of Headaches?

To determine the cause of headaches, a chiropractor and patient must work together to determine the type of headache. The most common types of headaches are tension headaches, migraine headaches and cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches are rare but very painful. They typically occur in patterns or clusters. These episodes can last for days or months followed by periods of experiencing no headaches. Cluster headaches commonly wakes it's victims up in the middle of the night with severe pain around the eyes. Unlike most headaches, there are no physical triggers for cluster headaches.

Migraine headaches cause intense throbbing pain that is usually very localized in just one area of a patients head. Migraine sufferers tend to experience nausea and vomiting and are very sensitive to noise and light. Most patients are forced to lie down in a very quiet dark place when they experience a migraine headache.

Tension headaches are usually described by patients as a tight band or pressure pain squeezing around their head. Many times these common types of headaches are caused by muscle tension arising from the cervical spine.

There are an infinite number of causes for headaches. Environmental stress, physical stress, chemical stress all contribute to headaches. Poor posture or ergonomics can cause headaches. Allergies including certain food allergies can cause headaches. Depression, anxiety and stress are all contributors to headaches.

Chiropractic Diagnosis and Treatment of Headaches

Chiropractic is most effective at treating headaches that originate from the cervical spine. Many headaches are indeed caused by muscle and spinal imbalances in the neck.

When a patient suffering from headaches presents to our chiropractic clinic, we take an in-depth consultation. We ask several questions to pin point the type and cause of headaches. After our consultation we perform a thorough chiropractic and neurologic evaluation. This provides us with even more information regarding patient's headaches. We might take a series of cervical x-rays to determine whether the biomechanical structure of the neck may be the underlying cause of the headaches. Depending upon our findings we may refer the patient for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain to rule out any possible pathology. Once we have all the information gathered, we develop a detailed treatment plan.

If the headaches are related to an issue in the neck, we will carefully and gently adjust the neck. A chiropractic adjustment is simply applying gentle force to help the body realign the spine. This adjustment often times relives the pressure on the neck and reduces the symptoms associated with the headaches.

We may also use different forms of physical and massage therapy to help assist in the healing process. In some cases, we may refer our patient to one on the specialists in our network of referring physicians. We use pain management specialist as well as neurologists as part of our team to help treat our headaches patients.