A headache is a very broad term given to pain that is felt in the head or sometimes the neck. There are many different types of pain, from acute localized discomfort to a more generalized ache, and while some headaches appear suddenly and only last for a short time, others may build gradually and last for several hours.
While experts have identified more than 150 different types of headaches, some are more common than others. These include:
By far the most common is a tension headache, which is usually attributed to stress. They tend to come and go and cause mild to moderate pain with no other symptoms.
These are often considered to be more painful than a tension headache. They also last longer, anything from a few hours to a few days, and are accompanied by symptoms such as sensitivity to light, smells or sound, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and loss of appetite. Some people suffer from recurrent migraines and may experience several or more in a month.
Cluster headaches, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend to occur in groups and are more common in men though there is no evidence to suggest why. The pain of a cluster headache tends to be burning or piercing and localized behind or around one eye. It also tends to be so severe that the patient can’t function properly until the pain eases and may just pace during an attack.
These tend to happen if you have a cold or sinus infection. With a sinus headache, the pain is felt in your cheekbones, forehead or bridge of your nose, which is where your sinuses are located. It is actually caused by your sinuses becoming swollen. The pain of a sinus headache is usually improved by taking an anti-inflammatory pain tablet.
There is a range of things that you can do to help one-off headaches, such as taking pain medications, drinking plenty of water and trying to relax somewhere calm and quiet. However, if you suffer from recurrent headaches then you may wish to consider chiropractic care, which has been shown to be very successful in providing relief and even helping prevent this type of pain.
Research has shown that spinal manipulation, which is the primary treatment provided by chiropractors, can be a highly effective treatment for tension headaches and those that either originate or are affected by the neck.
A spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustment involves your practitioner performing a high velocity, sudden arm thrust to an area of your spine with the purpose of relieving pressure on the joint and surrounding nerves. In doing so, it can alleviate the tension that is contributing to your headache.
Many chiropractors also offer massage therapy which helps to relax the soft tissue in the patient’s body, again relieving areas of pressure. In addition, massage therapy can help a patient to relax, thus reducing the stress that may be contributing to a tension headache.
Chiropractors undergo extensive training that enables them to offer supplementary advice as to how the patient can continue their recovery and potentially prevent future headaches. This may include recommendations about diet, exercise, vitamins, physical therapy exercises, and relaxation techniques.
If you experience regular headaches and conventional treatments are not providing you with sufficient relief, you may be the perfect candidate for chiropractic care. Please contact our offices to arrange a consultation with our qualified and experienced chiropractor.