Chiropractic Care for Headaches
A common condition seen in chiropractic offices is a headache. With what seems like such a simple condition, comes further questioning. What type of headache is it? What symptoms are being experienced? What caused it? How can I get rid of it? While not all headaches are the same, there are some categories and treatments that cover a majority of them. Depending on the cause, chiropractic offices are often able to help.
The first type of headache is called a cervicogenic headache. Patients typically complain of headaches that start somewhere in the neck and only affect the forehead and temple region on one side of the head. The location of the headache sticks to the one location and does not move from one side of the head to the other. It is a mild form of headache and patients typically describe it as nagging and non-throbbing. A few triggers that may cause these types of headaches are awkward neck movements and sustained head positioning.
The next type of headache is a migraine. Most people have experienced a migraine at one point or another throughout their life. Migraines are typically more severe and affect one’s ability to go about their everyday activities. They can make you feel sick and have some sensitivity to light. They can also affect both sides of the head by switching back and forth from one side to the other. Migraines may also occur with or without an aura, meaning that you may see flickering lights/spots/lines or loss of vision that are typically followed by a headache. These symptoms are fully reversible.
Lastly, we have tension-type headaches which are thought to be the most common form and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days. Pain is usually bilateral (both sides of the head) and is pressing, but not pulsing, as a migraine would be. They are usually mild in nature and should not interfere with everyday activities. There may be adverse reactions to sound or light, but not both.
Can Chiropractic Care Help?
The short answer is yes. However, it may depend on the severity of the headache and what kind of headache it is. While not all types of headaches were mentioned here, there may be others that have deeper root causes. When coming to see a chiropractor for a headache, we look at a number of things including blood pressure, cranial nerve exams, or orthopedic tests to help rule out any red flags and to make sure that it is ideal to treat you in the office. More often than not it is, but we take headaches very seriously and want our patients to be in the right location and getting the proper treatment.
Next time you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, feel free to stop in and let us help!