Chiropractic can help Alleviate Headaches

Chiropractic Helps Alleviate Headaches

What exactly is a headache?

Most headaches (95% of them) can be put into three categories. There are tension headaches, migraine headaches, and cluster headaches.

Tension headaches are by far the most common type, up to 75% of all headaches are tension headaches. They are described as a dull, achy pain around the head or behind the eyes. Tension headaches are most often caused by subluxations, or misalignments in the upper back in neck. Usually accompanying these misalignments are trigger points (places where muscles spasm) in the upper back and neck also. These small spasms can shift the vertebrae and pull on the dura matter (lining of the brain) which causes pain.

headache symptomsMigraine headaches are less common, but still 13 million people experience chronic migraine headaches which occur almost everyday. Nobody is sure of the exact cause of a migraine headache, but the two theories are that it is caused by the vascular or the nervous system. The vascular theory is that it is caused by the blood vessels leading to the brain first constricting then dilating. It is the dilation of the blood vessels that cause pressure and intense pain for the sufferers. The nervous system theory is that rapid changes in the activity of the nerve cells in the brain stem cause pain. Because no one is sure of the exact cause there is no exact treatment, but there are methods that have been show to help, including lifestyle changes and chiropractic care.

Cluster headaches are the least common type of headaches and only affect about 1 to 2 in 1000 people but they are intensely painful. They occur suddenly usually for short periods of time in a small area of the head, and no one is sure of what causes them. Medication, lifestyle changes, and chiropractic have been show to provide come relief, but it is unfortunately difficult to treat.

How can chiropractic help?

A research report by Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC in 2001 found that spinal manipulations (or adjustments) provided immediate improvement for headaches that “originated in the neck.” They also found that after four weeks of treatment then stopped, the benefits were sustained for a long period of time, unlike those who took medication.

For tension headaches, the most common type of headache, it is very clear how chiropractic helps. The realignment of the spine relieves nerve irritation that may have been causing a headache, or releases the trigger point of the muscle in the area. At Bradley Chiropractic Nutrition Center we also offer Massage Therapy which can help release stubborn trigger points and make the adjustment more comfortable and effective.

Headache relief in Bakersfield, CaliforniaA majority of patients with tension headaches are helped by chiropractic, and the positive effects are often long term lasting for even years after the adjustment was performed.

Migraine headaches and cluster headaches have also been shown to be helped by chiropractic. Why chiropractic helps isn’t exactly clear. Nevertheless, a clinical trial by Dr. Peter Tuchin found that as many as 72% of patients showed improvement from chiropractic care while treating migraine headaches. It is a safe, natural approach to relieving headaches that can have long term benefits, so why not try it out?

Headaches of all sorts can also be caused by certain lifestyle choices, such as unhealthy eating, sitting for hours, having bad posture, or surrounding yourself with headache triggers such as the smell of fumes or bright screens. Here at Bradley Chiropractic Nutrition Center we can provide advice on what you can change or avoid to reduce your headaches. We also offer exercise and nutrition programs that can greatly improve your health.

If you are suffering from headaches and are interested in trying chiropractic treatment, please call our office using the number above, or visit our Contact Us page to schedule an appointment. We will answer any questions you might have (if they weren’t answered on our FAQ) and will do our best to help you find relief. We look forward to serving you!

About the Author Dr. Brendon Bradley

I am a board certified chiropractor practicing in Bakersfield, CA. I graduated in 1995 from the esteemed Southern California University of Health Sciences. Also, I have taken many postgraduate study courses on diet, health, nutrition and corrective exercise. I maintain an active practice, helping people achieve and maintain an optimal state of health.

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