Can Chiropractors Treat Headaches?
The human head is home to all the body’s major sensory organs, and the most important of these is the brain. Although the nose, ears, tongue, nerves, and other parts are essential, without a healthy brain, they’d all be useless. Encased in the skull, the brain is the body’s centralized conveyor of all information.
Headaches can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples include lack of sleep, an incorrect eyeglass prescription, stress, loud noise exposure, or tight headwear. A painful sensation in any part of the head, ranging from sharp to dull, may occur with other symptoms.
The most common primary headaches are:
- Cluster headache
- Migraine with aura
- Tension headache
- Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TAC), such as cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicranias.
What is the most common headache?
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress and muscle tension are thought to play a role, as are genetics and environment. Symptoms usually include moderate pain on or around both sides of the head, and/or pain in the back of the head and neck.
What could be the cause of daily headaches?
Conditions that might cause nonprimary chronic daily headaches include Inflammation or other problems with the blood vessels in and around the brain, including stroke. Infections, such as meningitis. Intracranial pressure that’s either too high or too low.
Your headache comes on suddenly and is explosive or violent. Your headache is “the worst ever,” even if you regularly get headaches. You also have slurred speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss with your headache. Your headache gets worse over 24 hours.
Treatments for headaches at home include:
Hot or cold compress your head or neck. Massage and small amounts of caffeine. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), and aspirin. Prescription medications including triptans, such as sumatriptan (Imitrex) and zolmitriptan (Zomig)
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.
When you visit a chiropractor for headache treatment, they will perform spinal manipulation or “adjustment.” Typically for headaches, your doctor will perform spinal manipulation on your neck, but your doctor may also adjust your back depending on your examination results.
Can a chiropractor help with migraine headaches?
A chiropractor can use a series of spinal adjustments to impact the way nerves send signals throughout the brain. Spinal manipulation might also be able to influence the flow of blood through the central nervous system, helping to treat and prevent migraines. Book your appointment at your nearest chiropractor today and feel alive again!