What is a headache?
A headache is a symptom of pain in the neck or head region. Headaches are typically put into a category of primary or secondary headaches. Primary headaches are benign reoccurring headaches that are not dangerous. Secondary headaches are caused by some sort of disease and can be harmful.
90% of headaches are primary headaches, and most people start having headaches between 20-40 years-old.
Different types of headaches:
There are many of different types of headaches; some say there are 150- 200 different headaches. The main headaches people experience are a migraine, tension, cluster and sinus headaches.
A migraine headache is described as throbbing and pounding. There is a severe pain on each side of the head causing an upset stomach and vision changes. Migraines can be so intense that they cause a person to vomit and become super sensitive to light, smells, and noise.
A tension headache is described as a tight band across the head. It affects the head, scalp, or neck with tightness in the muscles. These are the most common headaches in teen and young adults. Out of all the people who suffer from headaches 75% of them suffer from tension headaches.
For cluster headaches, most people describe it as burning or stabbing eye pain. These types of headaches are more common in men than woman. It causes red, teary eyes and stuffy nose, so most people confuse it with sinus pains.
Sinus headaches are caused by the pressure built up in your sinuses. These are the air-filled spaces inside your forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of your nose. When these areas become inflamed, it causes a pain signal in the head, known as a sinus headache. This type of a headache is considered secondary but usually is not serious.
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches are caused by the communication between the brain, nearby nerves, muscles and blood vassals. Something will trigger a pain signal of pain. The cause is still unclear but is usually is due to areas in the head that are pain sensitive being overactive or experience some problem.
There are also triggers that cause a headache to flare up. Everyone has different triggers, and your doctor will ask you to monitor your daily activities and keep a log of what you are doing when your first feel a headache coming on. This will help narrow down your specific triggers.
Most Common Triggers are:
- Sleep deprived or too much sleep
- Muscle contractions in the head and neck area region
- Staring a computer screen for too long
- Change in seasons
- Hormonal changes
- Stretch every 30 minutes to an hour when you have to sit for extended time periods
- Don’t clench your teeth
- Stay Hydrated
- Low- impact exercise
- Healthier Diet
- Check the air quality in your home
- Address emotions such as depression
- Maintain good posture
Treatments for Headache Pain
There are so many different things you can try for headache relief, but not technique will work for everyone so you will have to find the one that works best for you.
Most people use medication to reduce the amount of pain they feel from a headache, but sometimes it becomes a weekly or everyday situation. When it gets to the point, you can leave home without headache medication, and you feel like you’re always using pills to feel better then you may want to find another treatment that is more satisfying.
Good self-care is always best. Getting the right amount of sleep and eating healthy are the best areas to start working on. This is a challenging task for many of the crazy busy lifestyle most people maintain.
Seeing a chiropractor is another drug-free route that provides relief to so many people. Some feel instant relief while others need a few treatments to get the initial pain at ease with continual treatment.
How can chiropractors treat headaches?
- Spinal manipulation
- Hands-on techniques
- Instrument-assisted techniques
- Drop-table technique
- Nutrition Advice
- Posture Care
- Relaxation Techniques
Although there are 150 techniques in chiropractor literature, spinal manipulation is the most known term when it comes to chiropractic care. Some refer to it as manual manipulation because most of the time chiropractors rely on their hands to fix problem areas and realign the bones in your body.
In some cases, instrument-assisted techniques are used to relieve the really tense muscles. In many cases for those who need to avoid the forceful pressure used in the hands-on technique and the activator method is used.
Sometimes it is even a combination of both techniques depending on the patient. This is a light hand-held instrument that has a gentle touch with little thrusting that communicates with your nerves so they can better understand the new adjustment and continue to release tight muscles after you get off the treatment table.
There are also other instrument-aided techniques used to release tight, tense muscles in the neck, back, and skull areas. Some of the instruments let the doctor of chiropractic’s know the tenseness of the muscle and it if it is releasing so they know how long to work in each particular area.
Another spinal manipulation technique is done with the use of drop-table techniques. It is used with the combination of instruments or hands-on techniques. Part of the table drops down when the chiropractor pushes on the patient allowing better assists with the alignment. Also known as the Thompson Technique because Dr. J Clay Thompson was the one who started this technique.
These three techniques work great for primary headaches like a migraine, tension, and cluster headaches but it may seem confusing on how it will work for sinus headaches.
Well believe it, or not chiropractors can manually move bones in your face realigning them so you will have less inflammation. It will allow your air cavities to drain and relieve the pressure causing the pain.
Most people think crack, snap and pop when it comes to chiropractic care but that is not the only way chiropractors treat pain.
So, if you are experiencing more than 2-3 headaches a year, then you may want to see a chiropractor to start working on your headaches and get them under control.
Contact us at Cobb Chiropractic if you live in the Greensboro or Triad area and are suffering from headaches.