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Body Signals: Headaches and Chiropractic

transparent spineIf you have ever suffered from a headache, whether its occasional, frequent, dull, or throbbing, you know how debilitating they can be. You are not alone.

Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. How do you handle the pain and discomfort? Do you grit your teeth and try to carry on? Lie down with the lights off mid-day? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? You do not have to—there are better options for you, and for your health.

Chiropractic care—in the form of adjustments—is highly effective for the management of headaches. Whether you suffer from chronic episodes of painful headaches, to the occasional migraine that knocks you out for the day, chiropractic care can help reduce the severity and quantity of your headaches. Research shows that chiropractic care can even halt them altogether. Research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that intervention used by chiropractors improved outcomes for the treatment of migraines and headaches that occur from disorders in the neck.

Most headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck. Studies show that the number of American’s that engage in sedentary activities is at an all-time high. We tend to sit at a desk and lack proper movement throughout the day. More hours spent sitting in one fixed position or posture (such as sitting in front of a computer) increases joint irritation, muscle tension, and nerve irritation in the neck, upper back, and scalp—thus causing your head to ache. This is where a Doctor of Chiropractic can greatly increase your quality of life if you tend to experience headaches. By adjusting the spine, your chiropractor will decrease the negative impacts our sedentary lifestyles have on our spine. Increased spinal movement, less muscle tension, and reduced nerve irritation leads to less severe and less frequent headaches.

A thorough evaluation will be performed in order to assess the damage to the spine and nervous system. From there your chiropractor will cater a care plan designed specifically for you to help with your headaches. A series of adjustments will be performed in order to increase the health of your spine and nervous system. Chiropractors can also give you advice on posture, ergonomics, exercises, and relaxation techniques. A chiropractor will not only help you with an acute headache but will help you prevent them form reoccurring as frequently and severely.

Do not let headaches ruin your day or interfere with the joys of life. Taking a pill to mask the symptom will only make the problem worse. Correcting the underlying condition will not only help the symptom but will correct the cause.

References

1. Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014; 37: 42-63.

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