Tension type, migraine, menstrual, sinus, cluster, cervicogenic, and the list goes on. Headaches are an annoying occurence that many turn to Over The Counter meds to gain relief. These meds will most likely give you the relief you need but can lead to rebound headaches. The meds cause the blood vessels to dilate giving you the relief you crave. The continual use of these meds will cause your blood vessels to become dependent upon them. The blood vessels will constrict once the meds wear off and the headache will begin again causing you to search for another serving. This is also the case for those caffeine withdrawl headaches. The best solution is to find the problem and resolve it. Chiropractic manipulation alone can aid in the anatomic and physiologic answers to the cause of the headaches. Manipulation will benefit your spinal biomechanics and aid in the relaxation of the semispinalis capitis muscle that is the usual culprit putting pressure upon the greater occipital nerve that supplies the majority of the head. Exercise, a healthy diet, adequate water intake, a good multivitamin, herbal supplements, and postural correction will also aid in the resolution of headaches.
“Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.”
– Duke Evidence Report, McCrory et al. (2001)
“The results of this study show that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches. Four weeks after cessation of treatment, the patients who received spinal manipulative therapy experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in all major outcomes in contrast to the patients that received amitriptyline therapy, who reverted to baseline values.”
– Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Boline et al. (1995)
How Can Headaches Be Prevented?
Muscle-tension headaches can often be avoided by maintaining proper posture and neck movements while performing your normal activities. You should:
- Avoid slouching
- Avoid reading with your neck bent forward
- Take frequent breaks from reading and working on the computer
- Try a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet. A recent study demonstrated that such a diet can dramatically lower the frequency, intensity, and\duration of migraine headaches