What is a headache?
Headache is described as any form of pain involving the head or neck region. There are many different types of headaches but all headaches fall within two categories. Primary (benign) or secondary (sinister).
Primary headaches which account for 90% of headaches, are those that are not caused by an underlying disease process. These types include tension headaches, migraine and cluster headaches.
Secondary headaches have many causes but the most concern are the headaches caused by a brain or cranial lesion, arterial arteritis, bleeding into the skull, brain infection, meningitis and trauma or an increase in pressure within the eye or skull.
Headaches may be acute, recent or short duration, and chronic, long lasting and frequent over a long period of time.
After back pain, headaches are the most common reason that people consult a chiropractor. The most common of these headaches are tension headaches or migraines.
Tension headaches presents with pain around the eyes, the base of the skull, a band around the temples, in the jaw and ears or the top of the head.
Migraine however is a condition that usually includes headaches as only one of the many symptoms.
Migraines may be triggered by the following: stress, foods such as chocolate, cheese, nuts, tomatoes shellfish strawberries and meat and beverages such as tea, coffee and alcohol. Too much or too little sleep, prolonged reading or computer work, toxins/chemicals, dental/ jaw problems, lack of food and medication.
The lead up to, or onset of a migraine may bring about the following symptoms: severe one sided temporal and eye pain, blurred vision, dizziness, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, flashing lights, jaw and neck pain.
Causes of headaches: there are many variables in the cause of tension headaches and migraines. But one of the major causes is a misalignment in the cervical vertebral joints ( neck ). Misalignment in this area place external stress on the nervous system causing a malfunction in the pain regulating system within the brain.
Research studies carried out the last few decades, consistently conclude a high correlation between the presence of headache and migraine and the vertebral misalignment. Further studies showed that 60 % of patients with chronic neck pain are directly caused by cervical vertebral misalignment and up to 53% of headaches after a whiplash injury are also directly caused by cervical vertebral misalignment.
Did you know? A misalignment in the lumbar spine ( low back) can also cause a headache!!
This occurs mostly through vertebral compensations throughout the spine in order to maintain balance.
This is why your chiropractor will always examine your entire spine, as the region of pain may not always be the origin of the cause.
Chiropractic care may influence headache and migraine by addressing the cause of the problem, which as mentioned is cervical vertebral misalignment.
Frequent studies conducted into the effects of chiropractic, consistently report that 90% of headache and migraine sufferers respond favourably to chiropractic, noting either total elimination or significant reduction in severity and frequency of symptoms.
Chiropractic care at Caulfield Family Chiropractic involves adjustment of the involved vertebrae. Once the pressure has been alleviated the body and brain are able to communicate freely. This allows the repair of functional tissue to begin, relieving nerve pressure and reduce muscular tightness.