To Your Health
February, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 02)
Headache Got You Down? Try Chiropractic
By Editorial Staff
Anyone who's experienced a headache (an estimated 90 percent of Americans) knows it can be a real downer, to say the least. Depending on the type, how long it lasts and the severity, a headache can complicate your day or ruin it altogether. Too many people take over-the-counter pain-relief medication for their headaches, and too few make an appointment to a doctor of chiropractic.
How can chiropractic help? According to the American Chiropractic Association, a national association for chiropractors, primary headaches are frequently associated with muscle tension in the neck. That means chiropractic spinal manipulation that helps relieve neck pain and tension can also relieve headache pain. Chiropractors can also provide advice on posture, which can often cause the neck pain / tension and thus contribute to your headaches.
In a recent case study reported in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, a female schoolteacher "experienced long-term relief from tension-type headache (TTH) and major depression following chiropractic treatment." (Depression is a potential consequence of long-term pain.) The woman, who had been experiencing "disabling" daily headaches of varying intensity for two years, received chiropractic spinal manipulation to spastic lower neck and upper back muscles, along with other nondrug treatments commonly performed by chiropractors, for several months. The woman eventually eliminated all use of pain medication and has now been headache-free for more than six years.
Here are some other natural ways your chiropractor may help you prevent headaches and reduce headache-related pain, per the ACA. Discuss them on your next visit:
- Take breaks and stretch your head / neck through a comfortable range of motion throughout the day, especially if you have a desk job that keeps you in a fixed position.
- Perform low-impact exercise such as walking an low-impact aerobics to help relieve headache pain.
- Avoid teeth clenching, which can stress the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which connect your jaw to your skull and can lead to headaches.
- Drink adequate water every day to help avoid dehydration, which has been associated with headaches.
To learn about the different types of headaches and the symptoms you might experience if you suffer one, click here.