If you suffer from headaches, you're in good company. Headaches are among the most common grievances in the US if not the entire world. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 50% of adults worldwide suffer from headaches and between 2% and 4% of the global population suffer from headaches at least 15 days out of the month.
These statistics can be alarming, especially if you suffer from headaches yourself. Lucky for you, though, headaches aren't an incurable condition. But can a chiropractor help with headaches?
Chiropractors are specialists who care for people suffering from muscular, joint, or skeletal pain. And some evidence suggests their services can help alleviate the symptoms of tension headaches.
Do you want to know how chiropractors treat headaches and the symptoms associated with them? Then keep reading for a brief guide to everything you need to know.
Why Do You Get Headaches?
Physiologically, a headache is a sharp pain in the neck, face, and/or upper neck. They can be very painful. That's because the skin, bones, and sensory organs in the face and neck areas are extremely sensitive.
It should be no wonder, then, that the symptoms of a headache can cause so much discomfort. Here are the most common headache symptoms.
The most commonly reported symptoms of a headache include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to noise
- A pounding or throbbing sensation in the face, jaw, neck, or skull
If your headache symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily life, you may be dealing with a migraine instead.
The Causes of a Headache
There are many causes of headaches, none of which have been definitively linked as a cause of headaches. But many people associate their headaches with things like food, environmental stimuli, behavior, and disease.
Foods like chocolate, cultured dairy products, broad beans, and nut butter are linked to headaches and migraines. Aspartame, caffeine, Yellow Dye #6, as well as preservatives like nitrates, nitrites, sulfites, and tyramine are all associated with headaches. Also, eating infrequently as seen in intermittent fasting may trigger a headache in some people.
Environmental causes of headaches include loud noise, bright lights, or even stress. Similarly, insomnia is often associated with headaches and even migraines. Excessive exercise, extreme dieting, and changes in blood sugar are also frequent causes of headaches.
In some rare instances, a headache can be caused by an underlying disease and disorder.
Most often, though, it's something very simple that causes headaches. What is it? Neck tension, which is also one of the main issues a chiropractor can treat.
Can a Chiropractor Help with Headaches?
Before you see a chiropractor, try out a few of the top tips for getting rid of a headache.
If your work requires you to stay seated in one place for a long time, try to take more frequent breaks. Stopping to stretch every 30 minutes to an hour helps reduce the tension in your body and neck.
Exercise may also help support a strategy for having fewer headaches. Low-impact exercises like walking or doing yoga can also help reduce headaches. Keep in mind, though, that heavy exercise may exacerbate headaches in some people.
The final tip to try before heading to your local chiropractic office is to drink more water. You've heard it before, but you should drink 64 ounces of water or more every single day. This couldn't be more important for reducing your predisposition for headaches.
When to Head to Your Local Chiropractor
If you're sick and tired of dealing with headaches and so-called cures that just don't work, it's time to see a chiropractor.
When your spine is misaligned, it can create tension in the areas associated with headache pain. Without addressing these misaligned areas, none of the aforementioned treatments will work because they aren't treating the problem at the source. That's where a chiropractor comes in.
To treat your headache, your chiropractor will first address the spinal tensions and/or spasms that are more than likely causing you pain. Your chiropractor will use spinal manipulations to help reduce the tension in your neck. This should also help reduce stress and improve spinal function.
A good chiropractor will also help you address the other aspects of your life that may be contributing to your pain.
For example, your specialist might help you design a diet that reduces your risk of headaches. Staying away from the foods we listed above will be that first step. Your chiropractor may work with you to add low-impact exercise to your daily routine, too.
They may also refer you to a counselor who can help you better handle stressors from work or daily life. Your counselor may prescribe meditation or even yoga to help you learn how to relax. That way, you can eliminate one of the biggest contributors to headaches in adults.
But you may be wondering: does it work? Will chiropractic really help reduce or even eliminate your headaches? According to an NIH research report, chiropractors see a 75% success rate in treating tension-related headaches.
And we think that's pretty impressive.
Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment Today!
Can a chiropractor help with headaches? Absolutely! And if you're tired of suffering, it's time to call your local chiropractic office.
Looking for chiropractic services in and around San Diego? Call the Inner Balance Institute today to get rid of your nasty headache and prevent more from coming back in the future.