Headaches Symptoms, Treatment, and Relief

by Dr Calhoun | December 10th, 2009

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.Research shows that spinal adjustments – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – is an 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 chiropractic adjustments 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 chiropractic adjustments 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.) and/or behaviors (insomnia, excessive exercise, blood sugar changes, etc.). About 5 percent of all headaches are warning signals 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.

“The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with spinal misalignments in the neck,” says Dr. Lynn Calhoun of Calhoun Chiropractic of Liberty Hill, Texas . “Today, Americans engage in more sedentary and less active than they used to be, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp causing spinal misalignment in the neck leading to your headache.”

What Can You Do?

Dr. Calhoun suggests the following:

  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
  • Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
  • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
  • Have Dr. Calhoun examine your neck and spine for spinal misalignments.

What can Dr. Calhoun of Calhoun Chiropractic of Liberty Hill, Texas (512 689-9864) do for you to give you the relief that you desire?

Dr. Calhoun, may do one or more of the following if you suffer from a primary headache:

  • Perform spinal adjustments to improve spinal alignment and alleviate the stress on your nervous 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.  Advice that can help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

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