Nearly everyone will experience a headache during the course of their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), headaches are among the most common types of nervous system disorders, with roughly half of the U.S. population developing at least one per year (source). The constant throbbing, paired with nausea, sensitivity to light, and fatigue can be debilitating, but there’s hope on the horizon for the millions of people who struggle with chronic headaches.
Are You Guilty of Making this Mistake?
What happens when you develop a headache? Far too many people instinctively go for a bottle of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to treat their headaches. While over-the-counter medication such as this may offer some temporary relief of the pain and discomfort, it’s not a viable long-term solution. These drugs have been known to cause liver and stomach damage, with tens of thousands of people seeking treatment for acetaminophen overdoses each year.
Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches
The majority of clients who seek chiropractic services do so for neck and back pain, but chiropractors can also help to relieve headaches. As noted on the American Chiropractic Association’s (ACA) website, spinal manipulation can be used to treat tension headaches, as well as headaches originating from the neck.
“Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck,” wrote the ACA. The Association further cited a report conducted by Duke University in which researchers discovered that spinal manipulation resulted in “almost immediate” improvement of headaches occurring in and around the neck.
Tension headaches occur when one or more groups of muscles remain in a constricted state for a prolonged length of time, triggering a headache. Normally, tense muscles will revert back to their relaxed state. But when they remain constricted, it disrupts the normal flow of blood, causing headaches to form. A professional chiropractor can ease the discomfort of tension headaches by releasing the build-up of tension within the affected muscles through spinal manipulation. As the chiropractor manipulates the spine and supporting structures, it will naturally cause the muscles to relax; thus, relieving tension headaches.
Another way in which chiropractic treatment can help to reduce the severity and frequency of headaches lies in its beneficial effects on a person’s stress level. Headaches can be caused, or “triggered,” by any number of different conditions. However, stress remains one of the most prevalent causes of headaches. Summit Chiropractic can work to reduce the client’s stress levels using spinal manipulation, massage therapy, and/or spinal decompression, offering relief of stress-induced headaches.