In order for us to continue the routines of our everyday life, and to make decisions that are important to us, we need to be able to think calmly. Headaches interrupt our ability to do this. Fortunately, most people only get headaches once in a while. However, some of us have chronic headaches that disrupt our routines, and our sleeping patterns. Chiropracty may be able to help.
What kinds of headaches can be treated with chiropracty?
There are three types of headaches that are amenable to chiropractic care:
1. Tension-induced headaches: These headaches result from muscular stress in the head, neck, or shoulders, and are located in specific areas of the head.
2. Migraine headaches: Migraines are usually felt on one side of the head, and are accompanied with an increased sensitivity to sound and light, and by nausea.
3. Cervicogenic headaches: These headaches originate in the spinal area of the neck, and spread forward to the head or face on one side of the body.
Studies reveal the efficacy of chiropractic treatment of headaches
Research has shown that manipulation of the spinal cord – the primary form of treatment of chiropractic doctors – can be effective for treating the three types of headaches described above.
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) published an article in 2011 that showed that spinal manipulation can ease cervicogenic headaches and migraines. And in 2014, JMPT published an article stating that chiropractic care interventions are helpful when treating chronic, acute neck pain.
Studies are continuing that show the effectiveness of chiropractic care in the treatment of chronic headaches.
How do chiropractors help treat headaches?
Chiropractic treatment methods can include:
- Soft tissue therapy: targeted clinical massage of the area that is in pain.
- Rehabilitation: expert delivery of painless passive and active care.
- Manual therapy: procedures by which the hands directly contact the body for treatment.
- Specialized modalities: acupuncture, electrical stimulation, ultrasound.
- Co-management and Referral: collaboration of chiropractors with other doctors.
- Lifestyle changes: advice on your nutritional and physical health
It is important for you to take chronic headaches very seriously. Consult a chiropractor if you have regular headaches, if you self-administer a pain-relieving drug for your headaches often, or if your headaches are worsening. Take prompt action if you experience a sudden and severe headache after a head injury, a fever, neck stiffness, numbness, weakness, or speech difficulty.
Your chiropractor will perform a thorough diagnosis to discover the source of your headaches. Once confirmed, specific chiropractic adjustments will be performed to the affected area in order to relieve the pain.