Do you or anyone you know suffer from headaches? Maybe chiropractic can help! It is well known that headaches are one of the most common conditions people suffer with, and here at Hawker Chiropractic in the Belconnen region of Canberra, we certainly have seen a large number of patients who suffer this affliction regularly. It is because headaches are so common that a lot of people believe that getting a headache is ‘normal’. However, a persistent or re-occurring headache is a sign that something is wrong within one of the many systems in the body.
Types of headaches
Most of us are familiar with the throbbing discomfort of a headache especially as it usually interferes with our ability to carry out the functions of every day living. The definition of a headache is pain “in any region of the head”, however the intensity, duration and cause will vary depending on the type of headache. There are several different types of headaches including, but not limited to: Cervicogenic Headache – the pain can occur anywhere in the head and is due to a disorder within the structures of the neck, whether this be facet joint, disc, capsule or muscle/ligament tension. Tension Headaches – most likely due to stress causing tightness of the muscles of the neck and shoulders, the pain is usually dull and aching with no throbbing. Migraines – the pain is an intense pulsing deep in the head which can last for days and severely limit your ability to carry out everyday activities. They are usually one-sided and throbbing. Cluster Headache – the pain is generally behind or around the eye or one side of the face with piercing pain or severe burning. There can be flushing, redness, sweating, swelling and even nasal congestion and tears on the side of the face with the headache. They will occur in a series and each headache can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Sinus or Allergy Headache – pain is often around the front of the head/sinus area. These headaches are often mistaken for migraines so anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies or sinusitis is susceptible. Exertion Headaches – pain occurs soon after intense physical activity with throbbing on both sides of the head. This may be due to an increase in blood flow to the skull because of the level of intense exercise.
Causes of headaches
There are many ‘causes’ of headaches. Sometimes it can be simply one thing, whereas at other times it may be multiple issues or a cascade of events that has caused the headache. Causes can include stress, poor posture, accidents (such as car accidents or falls), environmental issues such as toxins and chemicals, sensitivity to foods or smells, medications and many more. One of the most overlooked case of headaches, especially tension headaches and migraines is nerve irritation due to cervical spine dysfunction. As the nerves that supply your head and face exit the spinal cord at the upper neck region, altered movement at these joints can irritate these nerves which can lead to the development of headaches. It is important to note that the root cause of headaches is different for each person and therefore it’s important to get a correct diagnosis for your headache.
Treatment of Headaches
Most people when hit with a headache turn to pain medication, in fact around 15% of Australians are using pain medication for their headache at any given time. Continual use of pain medication for your headache is the same as removing the warning light that something is wrong in your car, it is merely managing the symptom without addressing the root cause. At Hawker Chiropractic in Canberra, our chiropractors are well equipped to proficiently assess your body to work out the CAUSE of your headache. This includes a full personal history, postural assessment, chiropractic assessment and referral for X-ray or other images if required. Chiropractic is an extremely effective treatment for not only headache pain relief but more importantly for the reason/cause of the headache. By restoring proper spinal motion in the neck, we help remove that nerve irritation which may be the underlying cause of your headache. This restoration of movement also helps to decrease muscle tension in the neck and head and improve posture, which can also be contributing to your headache. If we believe chiropractic will not help your headache we will then refer you to someone who we think can.
If you need help with your headaches call us on 6255 3711