How can Chiropractic Treatment Help with Headaches & Migraines?
Chiropractic may help to relieve tightness in your neck muscles due to stress and tension in your neck, shoulders and back. Treatment may also be effective in the treatment of headaches that are the result of neck pain or improper movement. Migraine is a severe headache, accompanied by other symptoms. Problems affecting the bones in your neck (vertebrae) can cause headaches and be a contributory factor in migraine.
We can identify stiffness in the joints of the neck and by treating them, improve their movement and relieve the muscle spasm and nerve irritation that may be causing the problem. We can also use Dry-Needling to help relieve muscular tension.
Treatment consists of specific adjustments done by hand to free stiff joints and reduce spinal nerve irritation. We may also recommend ice, heat or massage treatment amongst other things. We also support the treatment with individual advice about the your lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help in managing the condition and preventing a recurrence of the problem.
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Articles of Headaches and migraines
- Conservative physical therapy management for the treatment of cervicogenic headache: A systematic review. Racicki S, Gerwin S, DiClaudio S et al.
Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy 2013; 21(2): 113-24
Manual therapies for migraine: A systematic review. Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ & Russell MB. Journal of Headache & Pain 2011; 12: 127-133.
Effectiveness of manual therapies: the UK evidence report. Gert Bronfort et al Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010, 18:3
Types of Headaches
As chiropractors and therapists at Live Free we often see patients with headaches of various musculoskeletal origin. Some of the common types of headaches include:
- Tension Type Headaches – these are the common headache where your muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back become tighter and tighter eventually creating headaches as well. Often these type are linked to stress, posture and overall muscular tension in the area.
Migraine Headaches – migraines can be of many origins and determining the root cause of migraines can take time and sometimes may never be discovered sadly.
- Dehydration Headaches – sometimes we are simply dehydrated a good test is to drink a pint of water wait 30 min and see if the headache subsides. So often in our busy lives we forget to drink enough water and can become dehydrated. Dehydration can range from this simple type to more severe types that require medical intervention.
- Food Reaction Headaches – certain foods, drink or things we inhale in our environment can also create headaches as a warning sign our body is under threat.
- Hormonal Headaches – hormone imbalance has been a known cause of headache for sometime, it can happen in men but is more often in women with the monthly hormonal cycle. Cleaning up your diet, figuring out the root cause of the hormone imbalance, acupuncture and chiropractic are some of the interventions that can help with this type of headache.
- Withdrawal headaches – from sugar, caffeine, alcohol or other substances you can experience withdrawal symptoms from.
- TMJ or Jaw headaches – headaches arising from misalignment in the jaw and mouth. Often people grind their teeth, have had dental work or may need to see a dentist to determine the cause of the TMJ headache. Chiropractors also treat the jaw and surrounding muscles so can help in this case of headache.
- Sinister Headache Causes – these are the ones where you want to see your GP. Cancer, benign tumour growth, brain inflammation, neurological causes, meningitis and more.
- Cluster Headaches – a rare type of headache that is of unknown origin and is felt as a ‘knife stabbing in the head’ at night in cycles, often the most severe type of headache if you experience this type of headache always go to your GP first and investigate and rule out other sinister causes.
Top Headache Tips
Live free Treatments/interventions that can help
At Live Free we have many treatments and interventions that may help depending on the type of headache you may be experiencing. Always consult your GP especially if this is a new, never experience type of headache to rule out sinister causes. If you know it is non sinister then some of the following interventions may be of benefit:
- Chiropractic Care – spinal manipulation and mobilisation has been shown to improve headaches, relieve tension and a non invasive treatment for headaches. Joint restriction/tension and misalignment is a very common cause of headaches and chiropractors are uniquely trained to detect and remove these causes.
- Acupuncture and Dry Needling – fine needles inserted into the body at various points can help relieve tension, ‘unblock chi,’ sedate and relax one that is experiencing headaches.
- Massage & Soft Tissue Therapy – At Live Free we have many types of soft tissue therapy that can help with the various types of headaches. Deep tissue and general massage can often help relieve tension and stress. We also have trained Functional Range Release and Active Release practitioners that do a more specific, bespoke type of soft tissue treatment that can benefit headaches and muscular tension you may be experiencing with your headaches.
- Combination Treatment/Therapy – often more than one treatment when done together can create an additive and synergistic effect. Our chiropractors all can offer manipulation/mobilisation, soft tissue therapy, needling/acupuncture and exercise prescription. We often find the therapies when done together combat those stubborn headaches more effectively than when done alone.
- Nutritional Counselling – nutrition is another therapy that can focus on root causes if you have food intolerances, allergies or reactions to foods this can be a cause of some type of headaches.
- Meditation, Counselling & Hypnotherapy for stress and anxiety reduction – in a modern busy world we are often stressed and have trouble finding the time to truly relax, unwind and let go of worry/stress. Meditation, counselling and hypnotherapy are all interventions that can help with managing stress.
If you have ruled out sinister causes and do not know what type of headache you are suffering from then a full initial exam and treatment with one of our chiropractors is recommended to determine the root cause of your headaches. Our chiropractors are fully qualified in assessing and diagnosing headaches and know when to refer if necessary. Call reception today to book your initial exam and treatment 0208 780 0898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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