Headaches and Chiropractic

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

New research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck. A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center 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 a commonly prescribed medication. Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulation therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.

Headache Triggers

Headaches have many causes, or “triggers”. These may include foods, environmental stimuli (noises, lights, stress, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signs caused by physical problems. Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

What Can a Doctor of Chiropractic do?

The doctors of Accurate Pain Relief Center may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:

  • Perform spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system.
  • Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and perhaps the addition of B complex vitamins.
  • Offer advice on posture, ergonomics (work postures), exercises and relaxation techniques. This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Avoid the Following Food “Triggers”

  • Avoid caffeine. Foods such as chocolate, coffee, sodas and cocoa contain high levels of the stimulant.
  • Avoid foods with a high salt or sugar content. These foods may cause migraines, resulting in sensitivity to light, noise or abrupt movements.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. These drinks can dehydrate you and cause headache pain.
  • Other headache sufferers may want to avoid not only caffeine, but also high-protein foods, dairy products, red meat, and salty foods.

– Courtesy of the American Chiropractic Association

For a complete brochure on this condition, please ask the staff at our office.