That’s right, it’s not just backs we treat, chiropractic care is highly effective for both ‘regular headaches’ and also migraines. In fact the NICE guidelines, as used by the NHS, recommend chiropractic as a drug-free treatment for headaches and migraines.
The reason that chiropractic treatment is so effective for headache and migraine sufferers is that the majority of headaches start off as neck tension. By addressing restricted spinal joints in the neck, as well as knotted muscles nearby, the source of the headache can be dealt with.
Restricted spinal joints in the neck can refer pain to nearby locations, for example around the back of your head, side of your neck, shoulder, or even the inside border of your shoulder blade. Tight knotted muscles also have a referral pattern. For example the muscles right at the top of the neck, if they tighten up, tend to ache in the rear portion of your head and around the side of the head. If there is a knot (also known as a trigger point) in the muscle that sits between the shoulder and neck, this often is felt as a headache behind your eye or just above your eye.
Migraines can be more complicated and more severe than tension headaches. There are usually numerous factors that contribute to the onset of a migraine, for example: stress, bright lights or certain foods. However, neck tension is a key factor in the vast majority of cases. By dealing with problems of the joints, muscles and nerves of the neck, migraines can be brought under control.
Keeping headaches at bay:
Long term management and resolution of headaches is achieved by looking at causes of neck tension – be that stress, posture at work, or an old whiplash injury. Incidentally, whiplash doesn’t have to have resulted from a car accident. Simple falls, falls with horse-riding or skiing, falling from a tree as a child (even if it was a long time ago) – these can all jolt the neck and leave lasting structural or alignment changes. Even being born, particularly with forceps, vontouse, or caesarean, when you think about it, puts quite a strain on the neck. These injuries can all potentially be implicated with chronic headaches or migraines.
Chiropractors are well placed to provide effective treatment for headaches and migraines by correcting the underlying structural issues and addressing postural stresses. They are also trained to look out for other causes of headaches that may be more serious, but are fortunately much rarer.
I find that most headache and migraine suffers have adapted well and tend to put up with them for a long time before seeking help. However help is out there! If you feel it’s time to get the headache issue sorted then book in to come and see us.