Migraines & Headaches Relief Q & A
How to help relieve or manage Migraines & Headaches with chiropractic care in Olney MD
According to the International Headache Society, headaches impact almost 40% of the American population. But head pain caused by migraines and tension headaches are not something you have to put up with!
There is no set pattern or duration for headaches and migraines. There are many different types of pain associated with headaches ranging from acute pain to a more generalized ache. Some headaches may appear suddenly while others may build gradually. Some last for a short period of time while others can last for several hours.
Whatever symptoms you’re experiencing, it’s important to recognize what type of headache is responsible for your pain, so you can treat it correctly.
Types Of Headaches
There are many types of headaches but here are the most common:
By far the most common type of headache is a tension headache, which is usually attributed to stress. Tension headaches feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck. There is usually an increased tension in the scalp and neck muscles felt as well. These types of headaches tend to cause mild to moderate pain with no other symptoms.
Tension headaches may be caused by the contraction of the neck and scalp muscles in response to stress, anxiety, and possibly change in brain chemicals. A variety of foods, activities and stressors can be triggers. People who are most susceptible are those with poor posture, who have to move their neck and shoulders a lot, or people who work at stationary, repetitive tasks such as working at a desk for long periods.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain and last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. They are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, smells or sound, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and loss of appetite.
Symptoms known as ‘aura’ may occur before or with the headache that include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of your face or in your arm or leg. Patients often describe the pain during a migraine as pulsing or throbbing in one area of the head.
There is still no definitive explanation for what causes migraines. There are many factors that are known to have an influence on a migraine attack, but these vary significantly from patient to patient. Some known causes are food, food additives, stress, medication, and drinks.
The pain of a sinus headache is usually felt in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose where the sinuses are located since it is caused by the swelling of your sinuses. The pain usually decreases after taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.
A cold, severe allergy or sinus infection can trigger a sinus headache. Over the counter pain medication can be helpful including drinking plenty of water.
Cluster headaches affect only one side of the head and may include tearing of the eyes and nasal congestion. The pain associated with a cluster headache tends to be a burning or piercing sensation behind or around one eye. Pain can be quite severe and patients find it hard to get comfortable and feel relief until it passes. Cluster headaches are often chronic, recurrent headaches although patients may have periods without headaches alternating back to chronic headaches again.
Cluster headaches are the least common type of headaches and the specific cause is unknown.
What’s causing my headaches?
Migraines and tension headaches alike are caused by muscle contractions in the head or neck region.
Headaches can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Neck strain
- Missed meals
- Food sensitivities
- Loud music
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Oxygen deprivation
- A misalignment of the vertebra in the neck or spine
- Genetic components can also contribute to headaches and migraines
It's important to realize that certain lifestyle choices can significantly influence the frequency and severity of a headache or migraine attack.
Should I see a Chiropractor if I have headaches or migraine pain?
The medical approach is taking pain relieving medication and trying to relax somewhere calm where it may make you feel better in the acute phase, but there is a natural and drug-free solution. If you suffer from severe or recurrent headaches, you may want to consider seeking chiropractic care, which has been shown to be successful in providing relief and even helping prevent this type of pain.
A chiropractor can help to relieve headaches and improve blood flow, which will increase the amount of oxygen that is supplied to the brain.
Most headaches can be treated naturally. Many headaches and migraines can be caused by problems in the neck which can be relieved in just a few treatments.
Chiropractic care can help with sinus congestion and relieve the pain associated with sinus infections. For example, upper cervical adjustments can help relieve tension on your brain stem. This adjustment helps your throat relax so that the sinus passages in your head drain better.
In addition to the adjustments you need, your chiropractor also may also recommend a change to your diet to help you improve your overall health.
How can a chiropractor help my headaches and migraines?
Chiropractors offer a gentle, non-invasive, non-addictive therapy for headaches and migraines. Chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine. This reduces inflammation and improves the function of any affected joints. By increasing joint mobility and improving your nervous system function and spinal health, your body has the ability to better manage the pain caused by migraines and tension headaches.
Routine chiropractic care provides patients gentle and non-invasive treatment, focusing on releasing the tension and discomfort and aiding in ultimate relief. The chiropractic approach can be a highly effective treatment for tension headaches and those that either originate in or are affected by the neck.
What are the health benefits of chiropractic care for headaches and migraines?
Below are some of the health benefits chiropractic care for patients with migraines and tension headaches:
- Reduced pain and discomfort
- Decreased inflammation
- Reduced recurrence of chronic headaches
- Relief from stress and tension disorders
- Improved physical function and performance
- Increased range of motion
How can I get safe, non-invasive relief from headaches and migraines?
At Moss Chiropractic, we’ll assess your symptoms to see if chiropractic care is right for your condition. We will perform a consultation and a detailed examination and rule out any other causes of your headaches. We have extensive training and expertise that allows us to support your recovery and prevent future headaches. Along with specific spinal adjustments your personalized treatment plan may include recommendations about diet, exercise, vitamins, physical therapy exercises, and relaxation techniques.
Based on the findings of our chiropractic exam and consultation, we may recommend massage to help treat your migraines and tension headaches as an adjunct to your spinal adjustments.
For example, massage therapy helps to relax the soft tissue in your body and relieves areas of pressure. This can help you to relax and reduce the stress that may be contributing to your tension headaches.
Are you suffering from headaches and want to feel better faster? Click here to schedule your first session to get support and relief from your pain!
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Drs Gabriella and Raymond Moss provide a comprehensive approach to your healthcare to provide you with the highest quality care and restore your health. Our treatments are always unique to you, and our approach has been developed for over 30 years providing pain relief to our patients.
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