Chiropractic treatment for headaches can help ease your pain and can also help prevent migraines. If you suffer with headaches, then you are not alone. Headaches affect about 50% of people at least once a year. Some poor people suffer regularly with mild or severe pain. Many sufferers do not realise that chiropractic treatment for their headaches might be the answer they are looking for.
What is Chiropractic Anyway?
Chiropractors are regulated healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosis and treating various Musculo-skeletal conditions.
They have university training and in most countries are regulated by Government. Which means you can rest assured when you see a chiropractor as they have to be registered in order to use the title chiropractor.
To be registered they have had to complete rigorous university training as well as keeping up a professional development programme.
Does Chiropractic Treatment Involve Joint Clicking?
Chiropractors use hands on techniques such as joint manipulation (cracking and popping). But that is not all. As well as those manipulative techniques many chiropractors also use massage and soft tissue techniques, give lifestyle and health advice, home rehabilitation exercises etc.
What Kind of Headaches can Chiropractic Treatment Treat?
There is a wide range of headaches. Chiropractic treatment for headaches has been proven to be effective for headaches that arise from your neck.
You neck can cause or contribute to headaches in various ways.
For example, if the muscles around your neck are stiff and tight, they might pull and put a physical strain on your skull and neck joints. This pulling and tension can result in inflammation and pain.
Another scenario where a neck problem can cause headaches is if the joints in your neck are stiffer and less mobile. If they stiffen up and move less, then they may have an indirect effect on how your body perceives pain (nociception and pain gate theory). These stiff joints can confuse and exaggerate pain messages that are coming into your spine, and if the stiff joints are in you neck you might get a headache.
Yet another theory is that pain messages from a neck problem itself feed into the spinal cord and can be felt like a headache because the body confuses where these painful messages are actually from. It’s like the referred pain when you bang your elbow and the pain radiates down your arm.
There are a range of other theories linking neck problems as a cause of headaches.
In all these cases the neck is contributing or causing the patient’s headaches. So, treatment to your neck can help to ease or resolve your headaches.
Diagnosis is the First Step
The first thing a chiropractor will do is carry out a consultation. They do this to assess what is wrong (the diagnosis) and whether they can help.
Self Help Advice for Headaches
Chiropractic treatment is generally directed to improve function (fixing the problem). So, as well as reaching a diagnosis they will also be reflecting on what the underlying cause is. This gives them clues as to how they can resolve the complaint. In some cases, they will use self-help advice as well as their hands on treatments. They might advise certain posture corrections or neck stretches etc. Or their advice can be more generalised to improve healthy routines and lifestyle.
Are You Putting Up with Headaches without Realising It?
This chiropractor reports that he’s noticed a lot of patients present to his office for another complaint but don’t realise he can help with headaches too.
Once these headaches have been assessed, and if they are the right type of headaches, he can then treat them, at the same time as addressing the main complaint.