A headache is a very generalized term given to pain that is felt in the head or sometimes the neck. There are many different types of pain associated with headaches ranging from acute localized discomfort to a more generalized ache. Some headaches may appear suddenly and only last for a short period of time while others may build gradually and last for several hours.
Types of headaches
While experts have identified more than 150 different types of headaches, some are more common than others. These include:
By far the most common type of headache is a tension headache, which is usually attributed to stress. They tend to come and go and cause mild to moderate pain with no other symptoms.
Migraines are often considered to be more painful than a tension headache. They last longer ranging anywhere from a few hours to a few days and are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, smells or sound, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and loss of appetite. Some people suffer from recurrent migraines and may experience multiple episodes in a short period of time.
Cluster headaches tend to occur in groups and even though no one is sure why, are more common in men than women. The pain associated with a cluster headache tends to be a burning or piercing sensation that is localized behind or around one eye. It can also be so severe that the patient can’t function properly until the pain eases.
Sinus headaches tend to occur when one has a cold or sinus infection. With a sinus headache, the pain is felt in your cheekbones, forehead or bridge of your nose where the sinuses are located since it is caused by the swelling of your sinuses. The pain usually decreases after taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.
There is a range of things that you can do to help with one-off headaches, such as taking pain medications, drinking plenty of water and trying to relax somewhere calm and quiet. However, if you suffer from recurrent headaches, you may want to consider seeking chiropractic care, which has been shown to be very successful in providing relief and even helping prevent this type of pain.
How can chiropractic treatment help with my headaches?
Research has shown that spinal manipulation, which is the primary treatment provided by chiropractors, can be a highly effective treatment for tension headaches and those that either originate in or are affected by the neck.
A spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustment involves your practitioner performing a high velocity, sudden arm thrust to an area of your spine with the purpose of relieving pressure on the joint and surrounding nerves. In doing so, the tension that is contributing to your headache may be alleviated.
Many chiropractors also offer massage therapy which helps to relax the soft tissue in the patient’s body, again relieving areas of pressure. Massage therapy can also help a patient to relax, thus further reducing the stress that may be contributing to a tension headache.
Chiropractors undergo extensive training that enables them to offer supplementary advice as to how the patient can continue their recovery and potentially prevent future headaches. This may include recommendations about diet, exercise, vitamins, physical therapy exercises, and relaxation techniques.
If you experience regular headaches and conventional treatments are not providing you with sufficient relief, you may be a good candidate for chiropractic care. Please contact our offices to arrange a consultation with our qualified and experienced chiropractor.