Headaches – one of the most common physical complaints of modern life may seem an endless battle against pain. However, did you know that chiropractic care often eases the symptoms of many types of headaches, including associated neck tension? Despite common perception, natural, effective, medication-free solutions exist. With an estimated nine out of 10 Americans suffering from headaches, isn’t it time we look at treatment and prevention alternatives beyond the pill bottles?
Researchers believe tension headaches appear most commonly among today’s population. In fact, studies show prevalence ranging from 30 – 80 percent. This leads not only to individual discomfort, but also affects the workplace. An average of 10 percent of sufferers report missed school or workdays, as well as feeling they can’t perform at their peak. While tension headaches commonly present with pain and tightness in and around the forehead, they can affect the neck and shoulder areas as well.
The International Headache Society estimates between 10 and 12 percent of adults experience migraine pain in a given year. Affecting women two-to-four times as often as men, migraines may stem from a variety of behavioral and environmental factors, including hormone changes, exposure to food additives and even sleep pattern shifts. Studies of migraine patients often find pain rarely stays confined the head. Seventy-five percent of migraine patients under study reported the addition of neck pain as well.
“Cervicogenic headaches” may sound unfamiliar, but you may be familiar with their pain. These headaches stem from the cervical spine or neck and are most closely linked to successful chiropractic care outcomes. Events such as sports injuries, whiplash or arthritis may cause these headaches. However, the source many times goes undetected. Repeated “forward head motion” in occupations such as hair stylists and carpenters can cause the condition. And, if you think your occupation couldn’t possibly put you at risk for this compression in the neck, how many times today have you held your head down looking at your mobile device?
Chiropractic Care as Drug-Free Treatment
Within Western medicine, the most common treatment for headaches is analgesic drugs. These can range from over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol, to more powerful opioids. Prolonged use of these drugs can lead to additional drug interactions, addiction risks and complications such as renal disease. Medical research has cited the chiropractic treatment of spinal manipulative therapy or chiropractic adjustments as an effective alternative treatment for tension and cervicogenic headaches for more than 20 years. However, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapies concluded that spinal manipulation often improves outcomes for those suffering from migraines as well, opening up a drug-free treatment option for many patients.
If you suffer from ongoing or severe headache episodes, it may be time to explore chiropractic options for relief. Contact us at Financial District Chiropractic. Let’s discuss if drug-free pain relief might be an option for you.