How Chiropractic Care Can Help Treat Your Headache Pain

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Do frequent headaches disrupt your life? Managing them can be challenging, especially considering the various types and triggers they encompass.

In Canada, headaches are a prevalent issue, often posing diagnostic challenges due to their multifaceted nature. They seem to emerge unexpectedly for many individuals, regardless of the time of day.

There are many types of headaches:

Tension Headaches

The most common type of headache, the tension headache manifests as a diffuse, dull ache, often described as a tight band encircling the head. Primarily induced by stress, these headaches can typically be alleviated by stress reduction techniques, the application of cold or heat packs, and improvements in posture. Seeking conservative care, such as chiropractic interventions, can effectively mitigate symptoms and avert recurrences.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches exhibit a wide spectrum of symptoms, varying from person to person. They may entail visual disturbances, nausea, sensitivity to light, and often precede with sensory warning signs (aura). Sufferers commonly find solace in lying down in a darkened room until symptoms subside. While the exact causes of migraines remain elusive, identified triggers include stress, sleep irregularities, environmental changes, and certain dietary factors. Migraines can persist for hours or even days, significantly impacting daily functioning.

Cervicogenic Headaches

As secondary headaches, cervicogenic headaches stem from referred pain originating from neck structures. Given their association with cervical spine issues, management typically involves manual therapy and prescribed home exercises targeting postural imbalances and dysfunction.

What’s Causing Your Headache?

The causes of migraines and other types of headaches are not entirely known.. Joint dysfunction, muscle tension, and poor posture frequently contribute to their onset. Additionally, fluctuations in barometric pressure accompanying abrupt weather changes are believed to trigger migraines.

Headache triggers to avoid, when possible:

  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Skipping meals
  • Dehydration
  • Loud, sustained noise
  • Sleep deprivation

Treatment for Headaches

Depending on the type of headache, your healthcare practitioner may recommend spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, home exercise, relaxation and/or nutritional counselling.

How do chiropractors help with headaches?

Chiropractors can assess, diagnose, and manage headaches. Current evidence suggests that chiropractic care, including manual therapy, can be effective in treating cervicogenic and tension headaches. Studies have also shown that chiropractic care can help decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines.

The treatment options may include:

  • Manual therapy
  • Soft tissue therapy
  • Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, and ultrasound
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lifestyle changes and education
  • Referral and co-management

It’s important to take headaches seriously.

Consider consulting a chiropractor if you often have headaches, if you frequently take a pain reliever for your headaches, if your headache pattern changes, or if your headaches are getting worse.

Seek prompt attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury, or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking.

If headaches have become a regular part of your life, it may be time to seek help from a qualified healthcare professional, such as your chiropractor. Like other musculoskeletal conditions, headaches can be differentiated by a comprehensive examination and strategies to relieve the pain can be identified.

To learn more about how chiropractic care can help you manage your headaches, contact the Pickering Village Chiropractic & Massage Therapy Clinic at 905-427-3202 to book a consultation with a member of our wellness team.