Headaches and Migraines

Are headaches normal?

Headaches are very common, but definitely not normal for the human body!

A large study showed a staggering 38% prevalence of tension-type headaches in the general population over a one year period.

Of those affected, 8.3% lost workdays because of their headaches and 43.6% reported decreased effectiveness at work, home or school.

The cost spent annually for lost productivity and treatment is estimated to be in the billions of dollars!

Why do I get headaches in the first place?

  • Headaches happen when the blood vessels and/or nerves entering your skull are irritated.
  • The onset of headaches can have many contributing factors such as stress, nutritional choices and sleep habits.
  • These factors can often cause (or aggravate) Vertebral Subluxations – a condition that affects the movement of your spine and ultimately the surrounding nerves which travel back into the skull.

 

Anatomy of a headache

  • The nerves in your cervical spine (neck) are the common link for many types of headaches. In studies, noxious stimulation of the nerve roots exiting the upper neck have been shown to elicit headaches.
  • Neck muscles, ligaments and connective tissue have also been shown to cause headaches.

 

Different types of headaches

Dozens of sub-classes of headaches have been identified, but in general the most common types are:

  • Cervicogenic Headache – Any headaches caused by structures in the neck.
  • Tension-Type Headache – Constant pressure, like head is being squeezed in a vice.
  • Migraine Headache – Severe headaches with a variety of nervous system symptoms.
  • Cluster Headaches – Recurring one-sided attacks of severe pain behind eye or temple.
  • Rebound Headache – Pounding headaches from caffeine or medication withdrawal.
  • Sinus Headache – Headache with pain and pressure around sinus cavities in the face.

 

Can’t I just take medication to help with my headaches?

  • Even though drugs may help temporarily relieve your symptoms, it is important to understand that they do not treat the root cause of headaches.
  • Suppressing your symptoms with medication may also cause undesired side effects in the long run and can be harmful to organs like the liver and kidneys.

 

Headache prevention

  • The best treatment for headaches is to not get them in the first place!
  • Your chiropractor can help you assess your lifestyle factors and provide specific advice to help you prevent headaches from appearing in the future.
  • Getting checked regularly for vertebral subluxations is essential in reducing nervous system stress as part of your preventative approach to managing your headaches.

 

 

 

REFERENCES
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