And the good news is … headaches and migraines are one of the most common conditions seen by Chiropractors!
Headaches can be caused by poor function in the musculoskeletal system, the vascular system or possibly a combination of the two. These headaches can often be effectively managed with chiropractic care.
Upper neck joints and muscles have neural connections with pain sensitive structures and blood vessels in the head. Poor neck function can result in referred pain to other areas, and headaches are a common example of this.
It is important to have your headache properly assessed in order for appropriate treatment to be administered.
Sinus: Sinus headaches and sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, the hollow cavities in your skull behind the brow or cheekbones. If fluid blocks the sinuses it can lead to infections that can cause headaches and discomfort.
Cluster: Cluster headaches are typically short-lived, excruciating headaches, usually felt on one side of the head behind the eyes. It is the only type of headache that tends to occur at night. They are called ‘cluster’ headaches because they can occur one to four times per day over a period of several days. After one cluster of headaches is over, it may be months or even years, before they occur again.
Tension: This type of headache usually presents as a generalized headache characterized by a band of tightness around the forehead/scalp area. These headaches can affect concentration and mood, occasionally causing nausea. Jaw pain/tension can also occur through teeth clenching/grinding due to stress, jaw injury or misalignment.
Migraine: Migraines are typically one-sided intense headaches manifesting with extreme pain, nausea/ vomiting and visual disturbance. They can begin with symptoms such as partial blind spots, lights or wavy lines with headache onset commencing shortly after. Migraines sufferers can often be bedridden.
Once your type of headache has been established, your Chiropractor will determine the course and method of treatment. If the headache is not of spinal origin, we will organize referral to another specialist for further investigation.
A report released by Duke University in Durham, NC, found that “spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than commonly prescribed medications.” *
* McCrory DC, et al “Evidence Report Behavioral and Physical Treatments for Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headache”. Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center, Durham, North Carolina, January 2001.
Additionally factors such as dehydration, poor posture, stress, dietary intolerances, inappropriate sleeping positions and poor pillow support can also contribute to the phenomenon of recurring headaches. These factors will be assessed by the Chiropractor and appropriate advice given.
Dr Dennis W Collis DC is proud to be a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia – upholding the highest standards in patient care.
Address: 327 Sheridan St, Cairns North