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Do you get frequent Headaches?

Are you tired of taking meds for your head and neck pain?

Although headaches can have many possible different triggers, one thing is for sure – they happen for a reason.  Headaches are your body's way of telling you something isn’t right.  As many of you might know headaches don’t always originate in or near where you feel pain.  Everything’s connected in your body.  For example, a wrist problem can actually be a spinal complication, or knee trouble can actually result from a hip issue.  So headaches can, of course, be directly related to the spine, being caused by several ailments including misalignments (especially of the first two and lower cervical vertebrae), poor posture, low back problems, and/or muscle spasms/trigger points.  Before any treatment is started it is important to rule out the rarer more serious causes of headaches that may require urgent medical attention.  The majority of headaches are of two types: tension headaches (also known as cervicogenic headaches) and migraine headaches.  There is a third, less common type of headache called cluster headaches that are a cousin of migraine headaches.

Headaches and Chiropractic Adjustments:  a report in 2001 by researchers at Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that “spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief for tension-type headaches than commonly prescribed medication.”  These findings support a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics that found spinal manipulative therapy to be very effective for treating tension headaches.  This study also found that those who stopped chiropractic care after 4 weeks continued to experience a sustained benefit in contrast to those patients who received pain medication.

Each individual’s case is different and requires a thorough evaluation before a proper course of chiropractic care can begin.  However, in most cases of tension headaches, significant improvement is accomplished with the manipulation of the upper two cervical vertebrae, coupled with adjustments to the junction between the cervical and thoracic spine.  This is also helpful with most cases of migraine headaches, as long as food and lifestyle triggers are avoided as well.  And remember to keep adequately hydrated in these summer months for dehydration too can be a cause of headaches.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our Dr. Joshua Longo, call 916-645-3890 today!

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