For those who suffer from headaches, whether they be tension headaches or migraines, they can be debilitating to an extent that only sufferers can understand.
Headaches can affect your physical state to such a degree that they seriously affect your daily activities. The ability to 'think straight', nausea, eye pain, and sensitivity to light and sound are some of the common symptoms experienced by headache sufferers. Headaches can and often are treated with pain killers; however these are generally short-lived in their effectiveness. Once the drug wears off, back comes the pain and the feeling of despair coupled with the nagging question "Will I ever get rid of this"? Often the answer is a visit to your local chiropractor.
The way that chiropractic care helps in these cases of headaches has been shown to be to rectify a mis-alignment of the spinal vertebrae (referred to as vertebral subluxation) in the region of the neck. What happens is that this subluxation causes the muscles of the upper shoulder and neck to tighten. This combination of subluxation and tight muscles can cause pressure on nerves which, in turn, can then cause a headache.
Where your chiropractor comes into the picture is by addressing the vertebrae in the neck and correcting bio-mechanical problems with specific adjustments.
Once the correction has taken place the neck and shoulder muscles are able to relax. By correcting the mis-alignment any pressure on the nerves is reduced, which can then relieve the headache.
An important factor in the treatment of headaches through your chiropractor is that headaches caused by blocked, pinched or otherwise irritated nerves in the neck/spine areas, especially nerves that have been irritated over a period of time, can be relieved. In addition, once the pathway is 'unblocked' the body will look after itself and the healthy, headache-free state (which is normal for the body), can return.
In 1994 The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics conducted a study of 26 patients (16 males, 10 females) who all had chronic headaches with upper cervical joint dysfunction. Significant diminishing of the severity and frequency of headaches was reported in a large majority of the subjects (24 out of 26).
The occasional pain killer is fine for the 'occasional headache' – but for those who experience regular and sometimes constant headache pain the answer is often a visit to your local chiropractor to free those blocked nerve pathways.
Chiropractors work on the principle of reducing interference so the nervous system and body can work better. Providing that any symptom or condition is occurring as a result of nerve interference from vertebral subluxation, there is a very good chance that it will improve with chiropractic care.
The effect of manipulation (toggle recoil technique) for headaches with upper cervical joint dysfunction: a pilot study. Wittingham, W, Ellis WB, and Molyneux TP, JMPT, July/August 1994, 17(6): 369-375