Chiropractic care… helping with headaches

Chiropractic care… helping with headaches

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

It is estimated that between 75 to 90% of the population experienced one or more headaches every year. Most of these will be benign and mildly annoying. However, some will be debilitating and have a significant impact on well-being. Fortunately, very few headaches have a sinister cause. Chiropractors are well trained to recognise the ‘red flags’ of more serious problems and refer appropriately. 

Headaches are so common that most people think getting a headache is a normal part of everyday life. This is simply not true. Headaches are a sign that something is wrong. While some people may just pop a pill, chiropractors encourage addressing the cause, not just covering up the symptom. 

In 2007, the international headache society agreed upon an updated classification system for headache. Headaches were classified into Primary, Secondary or Cranial Neuralgias and other headaches. 

Primary headaches include: 

Tension headache 

This is the most common type of headache. It is often described as ’hatband’ tightness around the forehead, temples and back of head. Tension headaches are thought to be brought on by fatigue and stress, as well as tightness in the neck and jaw region.  

Migraine headache 

Migraine can begin as a dull ache that develops into a constant throbbing pain felt in the temple or retro orbital (behind the eye) area. The pain is often accompanied by sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia). Often there is a period before the actual headache when the patient may experience blurred vision or ‘zig zag’ lines in the vision, pins and needles or numbness. This is known as an ‘aura’ and is a symptom of a classic migraine. When the headache is experienced without a preceding aura, it is called a common migraine. Some of the triggers for migraines include: 

  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep or oversleeping
  • Missing a meal
  • Certain Medications
  • Caffeine
  • alcohol
  • hormonal changes

Cluster headache

These are characterised by clusters of short-lived attacks of severe pain, usually around the eye. They are more common in men and there may be many months in between clusters. 

How does chiropractic help? 

Chiropractic is a recognised health choice for headaches. One of the most common triggers for headache is imbalance in the cervical spine. These headaches are known as ‘cervicogenic’ – literally ‘from the neck’. 

In one Macquarie University study, the approach of correcting spinal imbalances in the neck and upper back with chiropractic care was tested in patients with chronic migraines. The results showed that specific chiropractic adjustments decrease the severity of migraines in 72% of patients. The frequency, duration, disability and amount of medication were also reduced. 

Your chiropractor will also be interested in how your lifestyle may be affecting your headaches. Stress reduction, breathing exercises, improving diet, certain supplements and drinking plenty of water may all be helpful. 

Dr. Steve Hodal is committed to providing high-quality, individualized chiropractic care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. He is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatments that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs, allowing them to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Contact us to know more about this disorder or Book Online.