We all suffer from occasional headaches, but when headaches are frequent enough to interfere with life, treatment needs to go beyond the bottle in the medicine cabinet.
In order to understand how chiropractic care can help relieve chronic headaches, you should understand the different types of headaches.
Common headaches often result from sinus troubles due to allergies or colds that end up creating headaches from congestion pressure. We also get tension headaches and headaches due to neck pain resulting from injury, stress or degeneration of the discs (cervicogenic headaches).
Migraine headaches are not clearly understood, but the common thought is that migraines occur due to excessive vascular dilation in the brain OR inflammation of the meninges (the membranes that surround the brain).
All of these are primary headaches that can be treated with chiropractic care. Rather than the “band aid” approach that using pain medications takes (temporarily relieving the symptoms rather than the cause), chiropractic care serves to treat headaches by eliminating the cause.
By improving the balance and alignment of the upper neck, cervicogenic (those stemming for the neck) headaches can be relieved because the root cause is eliminated.
Tension headaches often result from our physical response to stress that results in poor posture, tense muscles and increased stress hormone (cortisol) release. By correcting spinal alignment, muscles are relieved of tension. The mere act of spinal manipulation and massage techniques serves to decrease cortisol and increase pleasure hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
For the same hormonal reason, migraines are often diminished. Many medications that are given to migraine patients work because they serve to increase serotonin production. Unfortunately, these drugs have side effects that may preclude some people with heart troubles or other medical issues from using them. For that reason, chiropractic care may be an obvious solution.
Even sinus headaches can be relieved through chiropractic care by increasing sinus drainage and relieving pressure from congestion. Chiropractic care serves to relieve many conditions beyond back and neck pain in a noninvasive way.