Dealing with Headaches? Chiropractic Care Can Help
Do you ever get headaches that ruin your whole day? If you get headaches a lot, you’re not alone. Headaches are super common and affect many people. It’s estimated that around 15% of people worldwide have headaches nearly every single day! That’s more than 1 billion people on the entire planet who regularly deal with headache pain. Let’s find out how to prevent headaches with chiropractic care.
The Most Common Headache Types
There are many different types of headaches, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the most prevalent include:
- Tension headaches – The most common type, caused by tight, contracted muscles in the head and neck. Symptoms include a squeezing, pressing sensation, usually on both sides.
- Migraine headaches – Severe, throbbing headaches that can last hours to days. Often includes nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity. Some experience visual disturbances called auras before migraines start. There are many personal migraine triggers.
- Cluster headaches – Brief but extremely painful headaches that occur in clusters or cycles. Typically one-sided and focused around the eye. Cluster cycles can last weeks or months.
- Sinus headaches – Pain and pressure caused by sinus congestion and swelling. Localized pain in the sinus areas of the face like the forehead, cheeks, and bridge of the nose. Worsened by head motion.
- Cervicogenic headaches – originate from issues in the neck, like spinal misalignments irritating nerves that run to the head. Felt at the base of the skull, radiating to the forehead.
- Medication overuse headaches – Frequent headaches are caused by overusing acute pain relief medication. The overused medication eventually triggers rebound headache attacks. Headaches occur with caffeine withdrawal as well.
The Impact of Headaches
No matter what type of headache you have, they hurt and can really ruin your day. Headaches make it extremely hard to focus, be productive, and function normally. The pain distracts you from work, family time, and daily activities.
Headaches can drain your energy, mood, and motivation. Trying to power through headache pain daily is physically and mentally exhausting. Even basic cognitive tasks become much more difficult.
In addition to impacting your work life, headaches also affect your personal and social life. Severe headaches may prevent you from exercising, enjoying hobbies, attending events, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Headaches are the fifth leading cause of emergency room visits in the U.S. Because of headaches and migraines, over 250 million work days are missed annually in the United States alone. That’s a massive amount of missed work, costing employers billions in lost productivity.
Medication Only Masks the Pain
When you have a headache or migraine pain, taking over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen is tempting to make the pain go away fast. And those medications can provide quick temporary relief of moderate pain by blocking the pain signals sent to your brain.
However, those medications only mask and hide common triggers of your headache symptoms and migraine attacks – they don’t address the underlying cause of headache triggers. Pain medicine doesn’t fix what is triggering your headaches in the first place. The headache often returns once the medication wears off after a few hours.
This can lead to overusing pain medication and taking it more frequently than recommended. And overusing certain common pain relievers can cause serious health risks like internal bleeding, liver damage, and rebound headaches that are even worse.
So medication alone is not an effective long-term solution for recurring headaches or migraine attacks. The goal should be to find and treat the root cause of your headaches through natural, drug-free treatment options like chiropractic care. Then you can stop chasing temporary pain relief and actually see how to prevent headaches themselves from even starting.
How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help
The good news is that chiropractic care can help naturally relieve headaches or migraine attack without covering up the pain. Chiropractors focus on aligning your spine to improve your overall health. Research shows that spinal misalignments (called subluxations) and poor posture often contribute to headaches.
Here at our office, we use a unique chiropractic approach called Koren Specific Technique or KST. Developed by Tedd Koren, DC, KST is a gentle yet effective technique that focuses on locating and correcting the primary spinal subluxation.
KST uses low-force adjusting techniques tailored to each patient’s needs. Our doctor is specially trained to perform light adjustments along the spine to test for imbalances. Once detected, a few ounces of pressure are applied precisely with an Arthrostim tool to reposition vertebrae. Patients often describe the adjustments as comfortable and soothing.
What makes KST unique is the priority of finding the one primary spinal subluxation contributing to your symptoms known as the “priority one” subluxation. This critical vertebral misalignment is gently corrected first. Then, your entire body is balanced and aligned using KST techniques.
Our chiropractors will examine your full spine, posture, range of motion, and neurological function during your appointment. KST allows us to assess your specific spinal issues that need correction.
Many patients find that KST chiropractic adjustments significantly reduce the frequency and severity of their migraine headache. Since KST locates the primary subluxation, results are often fast and long-lasting, reduce stress, and can prevent migraines. Headaches due to spinal misalignments and neurological disorders typically won’t return as long as you maintain proper alignment.
Sarah’s Journey from Debilitating Headaches to a Pain-Free Life
Sarah had been suffering from chronic tension headaches for over three years. She would wake up nearly every single morning with tight, squeezing pain throughout her head and a stiff neck. The headaches made it so hard for her to get through her workday and caused her sleep disturbances. She often had to leave work early or call out sick because the headaches were so debilitating.
Over the years, Sarah tried all kinds of treatments to get rid of her headaches – over-the-counter pain medications, prescription drugs, acupuncture, massage therapy, and more. But nothing seemed to provide more than temporary relief from trigger headaches. Her headaches always came back day after day.
Eventually, Sarah decided to give chiropractic care a chance. She scheduled an appointment with our office to try KST chiropractic adjustments. During her exam, our chiropractor discovered that Sarah had a vertebral subluxation in her upper neck, likely contributing to her chronic headaches.
Using gentle KST techniques, our chiropractor corrected the subluxation in Sarah’s spine. She was amazed that the pain intensity in her headaches began improving immediately after her first adjustment. She reported having no headache the next morning – the first time in years she had woken up pain-free.
Over two months of regular KST treatments, Sarah’s headache symptoms disappeared entirely. By addressing the root cause with KST chiropractic care, she was finally able to live headache-free without medications. She wished she had tried chiropractic years ago to spare herself so much pain and frustration.
Scientific Research on Chiropractic for Headaches
Additional research supports the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments for treating headaches. One meta-analysis reviewed randomized controlled trials on manual therapies like massage, physiotherapy, relaxation techniques, and chiropractic adjustments for migraine headaches. The study found that these approaches provided similar benefits to the prescription medications propranolol and topiramate for both migraine symptoms and the prevention of migraine episodes.
Another review looked specifically at spinal manipulation for headache prevention for both migraine and tension headaches. It concluded that chiropractic adjustments may help reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine pain. However, more high-quality studies are still needed to confirm these findings. Two relevant studies can be found here:
Get Lasting Headache Relief
If you suffer from frequent tension headaches, chronic migraines, or taking too much pain medication, contact Dody Chiropractic Center for Wholeness in Littleton, CO, to see if chiropractic care can help. With gentle and effective KST techniques, we locate underlying spinal issues contributing to your headaches and correct them to provide natural, lasting relief.
Don’t let headaches continue to impact your life and health negatively. We want to help you finally eliminate headaches so you can enjoy a headache-free life. Call or visit our Littleton chiropractic office today to schedule a consultation.
With over 20 years in the field, Dr. Dody is a seasoned chiropractor specializing in Functional Nutrition, Neurofeedback, and the Koren Specific Technique (KST). His unique ‘whole person approach’ identifies the root causes of health issues, offering patients not just relief but lasting wellness. Recognized for his expertise, Dr. Dody’s treatments often yield dramatic improvements from the very first visit.