Headaches are by far one of the most common health complaints experienced by Americans. And while the best treatment method is actually prevention, chiropractic care has also been shown to be very effective in treating headaches, both migraine and tension.
Lifestyle changes, such as following an exercise regimen, taking in good nutrition, getting plenty of sleep and enjoying things in moderation can do wonders not just for headaches, but for a person’s overall health and wellbeing. But even for those dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, headaches can arise. And then a trip to the chiropractor may well be warranted.
What are Tension Headaches?
About 90 percent of headaches experienced by Americans are tension headaches. These are usually brought on by stress—whether emotional or physical—but other factors may come into play, such as bad posture, reading for too long, concentrating for an extended period of time, and physiological anxiety.
The onset of a tension headache is usually easy to identify. It starts with a dull pain around the head accompanied with tension in either the scalp or the neck. According to a sufferer, it feels like there’s pressure pushing around and inside the head. Some even describe it as feeling like their brains are being crushed or squeezed. This is because the tightness felt by sufferers is actually the result of tiny muscle contractions, thus the feeling of constriction.
Treatment of Tension Headaches
When sufferers experience a tension headache, the pain is best addressed by resting in a dark room, using ice packs, or massaging the neck muscles to remove tension. Some patients prefer medications in order to dull the pain, although this brings on a league of risks and side-effects that many people prefer to avoid.
This is where chiropractic care can help. Through spinal adjustment, chiropractors correct any misalignments in the spine that might be a factor in the condition. With regular adjustments, blood flow is improved, greatly reducing the incidence of tension headaches.
In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractors also use deep tissue massage, which can loosen the tense muscles around the head that make the headache more painful. Once the muscles are relaxed, the sufferer immediately feels pain relief even without medications.
Other modalities can also be used in the chiropractic treatment of tension headaches, including application of ice packs, ultrasound, and even nutrition and lifestyle counseling to help guide the sufferer avoid triggers that can contribute to the onset of tension headaches.
Chiropractic care is a holistic and natural treatment method for headaches, whether it’s the debilitating migraines or the more common tension headaches that every American has experienced at least once in their lives. If you suffer from regularly-occurring headaches, it is worth it for you to explore this treatment as an alternative to medication.