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  • Writer's pictureClaire Ferguson

Headaches and Migranes

An estimated two million Australians suffer from severe headaches or migraines that strike frequently. If you are among those who suffer from chronic headache pain, you will be all too familiar with the symptoms that can include light sensitivity, painful eyes, feeling nauseous – when it hurts to move and everyday activities become a misery.

Headache and migraine pain can be debilitating especially when it recurs frequently. Patients worry about what the future may hold if symptoms worsen. The good news is that most of the 120 or so, different types of headache that have been categorized by Medical Science, have a biomechanical cause that can be helped with Chiropractic care.

If headaches or migraines are spoiling your quality of life, Chiropractic could offer a solution. Call the clinic now on 4774 2184 to arrange an initial appointment and find out about the treatment options available to you.

What Type of Headache Do You Suffer From?

Headaches can arise from a number of causes.

Migraines can be debilitating with severe, pulsating pain, often accompanied by visual disturbances, heightened sensitivity to light, sound and noise, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms can last from a few hours to a few days.

Chiropractic treatment is effective in the prevention of migraines and lessening the duration and severity of attacks. The holistic treatment approach focuses not only on gentle Chiropractic spinal adjustments but also on diet – highlighting ‘trigger foods’ that should be avoided as well as supplements that may be beneficial. Your Chiropractor may also give guidance on managing stress and making some lifestyle changes such as participating in an exercise program.

One of the things particularly attractive to Migraine sufferers about Chiropractic is that it is entirely drug-free and may avoid the need for prescription medications that are not without side effects for many.

Other headache types include:

  • Tension headaches are the most common cause of primary headache. Causes include: Stress and tension that result in a tightening of the muscles in the neck and shoulders, and poor posture or incorrect workplace ergonomics resulting in forward neck flexion for long periods. Symptoms can include mood swings, lack of focus and concentration and nausea.

  • TMJ related headaches are a result of problems with the Temporomandibular joint of the jaw. While these headaches may arise from stress that causes the patient to clench their teeth or even grind their teeth during sleep, but can also be caused by a misalignment of the jaw or a facial injury.

  • Cervicogenic headaches are the type of headache actually caused by a problem in the neck and/or shoulders. Symptoms are pain that can affect the whole head but, more often, pain appears centred behind one eyeball and affects only that side of the head. This type of headache can be so painful that it actually causes nausea or vomiting if the patient attempts to move the head.

  • Cluster Headaches are fortunately less common and with a shorter duration than migraines. Symptoms often affect only one side of the head, usually around the temple and eye and often causing tearing of the affected eye and nasal congestion.

Chiropractic can be helpful in the treatment of all these types of headache when there is a biomechanical cause. Gentle, specific, Chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine and upper back help to restore correct alignment and function to the structures of the neck and decrease inflammation around the spinal joints. These adjustments combined with soft tissue work, reduce tension and muscle tightness and help to restore normal muscle tone.

Because Chiropractors focus on correcting the causes of headaches and migraine, rather than relieving symptoms, several treatments may be required to achieve the maximum benefit. Patients may also choose to schedule ‘maintenance’ sessions to treat any minor spinal misalignments as they occur.

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