Symptom of the Month: Headaches


Headaches are FAR from normal...

Headaches are a reality that affects 9 out of 10 Americans, it is reported that 10 million Americans suffer from moderate (tension) to severe (migraines) forms of headaches. There are many contributing factors to headaches from internal to external. Some of these factors can be because of tension, stress, food allergies, sinus pressure, seasonal allergies, hormonal factors, and neurological issues to name a few.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and come from inflamed soft tissue in the head and neck. These headaches can vary in intensity, anywhere from migraine like to mildly irritating.

Migraines affect about 10% of the population most of those being women. These headaches are caused by inflammation of arteries and blood vessels that surround the brain, squeezing until the brain hurts. Headaches of this type can be very debilitating, causing pain that lasts anywhere from a couple hours to several days.  Often those who suffer from migraines get a series of side-effects, such as: Auras, nausea/ vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound.

Your sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull, if they are unable to drain properly they become inflamed. When your sinuses become inflamed this causes painful pressure in your head and symptoms of sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, runny nose, etc.


Many people pop an Ibuprofen and call it a day, or lie down with a cold compress. For those with the more intense headaches these methods are not strong enough and they seek more invasive therapies like Cortizone injections, muscle relaxers, and tranquilizers. Though contrary to popular opinion, headaches are not a result of an Aspirin shortage. There is a better way to fight headaches.


Research has proven that spinal manipulation may be an effective treatment for tension headaches and the like. "A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication."

Spinal Manipulations are proven to decrease the frequency and intensity of the headache, because the majority of the time they are because of a misaligned spine. A large contributing factor is poor posture which places a lot of pressure on the structure and nerves. When the spine gets realigned it takes the pressure off the nerves allowing muscles to relax.

Though not all headaches are caused by spinal misalignment, it is a good idea to consult a chiropractor before treating.

The chiropractor will conduct a thorough examination process that includes physical, neurological, chiropractic and orthopedic tests that will help reveal the nature of your condition. X-rays may be necessary. If the chiropractor finds that it is a condition that they can help, they will put together a custom treatment plan for you, and if it is something they cannot help you with they will make the necessary referrals.



*2006 Back Talk Systems - Headaches and the Chiropractic Lifestyle


*10 Types of Headaches and How to Combat Them

by Tom Scheve