What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative that you might never have heard of.
Research shows that chiropractic is an effective treatment for tension headaches and cervicogenic headaches (headaches that start in the neck.) At Ability Chiropractic in Columbus, Ohio, we focus on how we can treat headaches naturally, by aligning your nervous system and skeletal system.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that chiropractic resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that after four weeks of chiropractic treatment patients experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals caused by physical problems.
95% of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.
“The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck,” says Dr. George B. McClelland, a doctor of chiropractic from Christiansburg, VA. “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache.” In addition, those fixed positions or postures are typically with the head in a flexed position, such as while slouching in a chair, hunched over a desk, or a computer which further irritates spinal cord tension.
How do chiropractors help headaches?
A chiropractor can perform chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system, provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet, and offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back
Source: “Headaches and Chiropractic.” American Chiropractic Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2012.