Headache and Migraine Treatment Relief
Finding out what type of headache you’re getting is the 1st step to a cure
Headaches are the number one reason people seek chiropractic care as well as medical attention. The American Council on Headache Education reported there are over 45 million people who suffer from headaches,
Headaches can be divided into primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches have no link to a specific disease or injury as opposed to headaches caused by a space-occupying lesion of the brain, accident or some other specific disease which are known as secondary headaches.
Which type of headaches do you have?
- Brief painful bunches of headaches
- 15 headaches per month
- Tightening of neck muscles
- Centered around one eye
- Dull, steady pain over the entire head
- Soreness and tight neck motion
- Paralyzing pain that puts your life on hold
Which of the above descriptions best fits your type of present or past headaches?
A doctor will determine which type of headache you have by:
- Obtaining a complete history to rule out pathology and secondary headaches.
- Identifying trigger factors and causes.
- Manual palpation of the joints of the neck and upper back to determine movement restriction.
- Taking cervical x-rays including flexion/extension views.
Chronic Tension Headaches
Chronic tension headaches are frequently caused by dysfunctional neck muscles caused by misalignments of the cervical spine. Misalignments of the vertebrae will reflexively trigger muscles to tighten in the neck and head and increase the firing of receptors called nociceptors which causes pain sensation. In addition to painful muscles, this can alter blood pressure in the cranium.
Tension headaches are the most common variety of headaches. Many patients labeled with a diagnosis of tension headaches may have headaches originating from functional abnormalities of the cervical spine at a specific level.
Tension Headaches Facts
- Most common variety
- Affects women more than men
- Tightening of muscles in the face, head, and neck
- Dull steady pain over the whole head
- 46% of these patients report reduced effectiveness on the job annually
Similar to the menstrual migraines due to the female hormone estrogen, the cluster headaches are believed to be connected with the male hormone testosterone. Therefore, cluster headaches usually only affect men.
Just as the name suggests, cluster headaches come in clusters. Typically, the last 15 minutes to an hour, occur 4-8 times per day for days or weeks and may not reoccur for months or even years. The pain associated with cluster headaches is focused behind one eye, accompanied by tearing, flushing, sweating and nasal congestion.
Cluster Headaches Facts
- Less common than tension headaches
- 85% of which affect men
- Brief but painful “bunches” of headaches
- Strikes over a period of weeks
- Centered around one eye
- Accompanied by nasal congestion
Chronic Daily Headaches
The majority of these chronic daily headaches are a result of a gradual transformation from episodic headaches of any type such as migraine. cervicogenic, or tension into chronic headaches. 35-40% of patients who seek treatment for their headaches suffer from daily headaches.
Criteria for Chronic Daily Headaches
- Minimum of 15 headaches days per month
- 180 headache days per year
Migraine headaches have been on the rise reporting a 60% increase in the past 10 years. It’s believed one of the major reasons for the increase in migraines can be traced back to dietary issues, artificial chemicals such as aspartame and very high levels of
Over 80% of migraines are believed to be diet-related. The American diet is loaded with inflammatory foods. Our typical hunter-gatherer ancestor had a diet with a 1:1 omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid ratio. The typical American diet ranges from a 1:22-1:40 omega-3:omega-6. Omega 6’s are very inflammatory and omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory. This dramatic imbalance in omega 3:6 FA’s in most Americans diets creates an imbalance in the body’s
To learn more about causes of headaches visit our pages on Whiplash Treatment, Neck Pain Relief, and Back Pain Treatment. To learn more about Square ONE visit our main page.