What is a headache?
Headaches are a widespread condition that most people will experience many times during their lives. The main symptom of a headache is pain in your head or face. A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation, or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly and may last from less than an hour to several days. This can be throbbing, constant, sharp, or dull. Medication, stress reduction, and biofeedback are all effective headache treatments, including consultation with a chiropractor for headaches.
If your head is throbbing, you’re not alone. Headaches are one of the most common pain conditions in the world. Up to 75% of adults worldwide have had headaches in the past year. Headaches are a significant cause of absenteeism from work and school. They also take a toll on social and family life. For some people, continually battling headaches can lead to feeling anxious and depressed.
What types of headaches are there?
There are more than 150 types of headaches. They fall into two main categories: primary and secondary headaches.
These are those that aren’t due to another medical condition. The category includes
- Cluster headaches.
- New daily persistent headaches (NDPH).
- Tension headaches.
These are related to other medical conditions, such as diabetes.
- Disease of the blood vessels in the brain
- Head injury
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- Medication overuse
- Sinus congestion
What issue does it lead to?
Headache pain results from signals interacting among the brain, blood vessels, and surrounding nerves. An unknown mechanism activates specific nerves during a headache that affects muscles and blood vessels. These nerves send pain signals to the brain. Pain that’s incredibly sharp and throbbing can signify a migraine headache. Migraine headaches aren’t as common as tension headaches. But for teens who get them, the pain can be strong enough to make them miss school or other activities if the headaches aren’t treated.
What is the process of treatment?
If you think your headaches may be migraines, you’ll want to see a doctor to treat them and learn ways to try to avoid getting the headaches in the first place. Sometimes relaxation exercises or changes in diet or sleeping habits are all needed. But if required, a doctor can also prescribe medicine to help control the headaches.
You’ll also want to see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms, as well as a headache:
- changes in vision, such as blurriness or seeing spots
- tingling sensations (for example, in the arms or legs)
- skin rash
- weakness, dizziness, or difficulty walking or standing
- neck pain or stiffness
When you visit a chiropractor for headache treatment, they will perform spinal manipulation, or “adjustment.” Typically, for headaches, your doctor will perform spinal manipulation on your neck, but your doctor may also adjust your back, depending on your examination results. Your chiropractor can check for any possible neck injuries (often with concussive brain injuries) and administer cervical adjustments to help ease neck and head pain.
The chiropractor will recommend physical and mental rest while the brain heals and avoids aspirin, alcohol, and anti-inflammatories. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have suffered any severe blows to the head before. Secondary brain injury is dangerous and should be addressed. Chiropractic adjustment can improve acute and chronic neck pain, reducing the number of headaches you’ll experience—whether you suffer from migraines, tension headaches, or another kind.
The nervous system is a vital part of headache pain, and chiropractic adjustments aim to ensure nerves are free from any interference causing headache pain. By working directly on the spine, chiropractors can check for misalignment impacting energy flow to all body parts.
What happens if you do not get it treated?
If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, affect the front and back of your head, or feel like it’s affecting your whole head.
You should consider seeing a chiropractor who specializes in headache relief. Some people will go straight to a medication when they feel a headache. And while aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen may provide temporary headache relief, it is not a permanent solution to the problem. Especially when you consider that chiropractic headache care provides headache relief through non-invasive means.