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Are you tired of relying on pain relievers to alleviate your frequent headaches? Do you wish you could get to the root of the problem rather than just keep treating the symptoms? As long as your doctor has ruled out the most serious causes of frequent headaches, like brain tumors and other neurological issues, the best solution for your headaches is probably to seek treatment from a chiropractor. Read on to gain a better understanding of what causes frequent headaches and how your chiropractor can help.
What causes frequent headaches?
About 90% of all headaches are considered tension headaches. This means that the pain occurs all over the head. Tension headaches can often be attributed to irritation of the nerves and blood vessels in the neck due to muscle tension in this area. In other words, the muscles in your neck tighten up, and in the process they squeeze your nerves and blood vessels. This reduces the blood supply to your head and also restricts nervous impulses to your head. This results in a headache.
Some headaches are associated with migraines. Migraines are neurological events that involve not only a headache, but also symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and distorted vision. Neck tension is often implicated in migraines, too.
The neck tension that causes headaches and migraines has many possible origins. In most patients, it arises at least in part from bad posture. Stress can also cause the muscles in the neck to tighten, as can various triggers like certain smells and tastes.
How do chiropractors treat frequent headaches?
Whether you suffer from everyday, tension-style headaches or more severe migraines, your chiropractor can help ease your symptoms by adjusting your spine. He or she will work on both your neck and your back. When your back is properly aligned, you'll be better able to maintain proper posture through your neck -- and when your neck is properly aligned, less stress will be placed on its muscles. As a result, the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that is leading to the headaches will be relieved.
Chiropractic adjustments are not painful. In fact, most patients find them enjoyable. Your chiropractor will observe you bending and moving in certain ways in order to evaluate where your spine is out of alignment. Then, he or she will ask you to lie face-down on a treatment table. Your vertebrae will be gently manipulated back into place. You may hear a cracking or popping noise -- this is normal -- but you won't feel any pain.
How long will it take for your headaches to go away after a chiropractic adjustment?
Every patient is different, but it will probably take at least a few sessions before you notice a pronounced decrease in the number of headaches you experience. This is because once your spine gets used to sitting out of alignment, it tends to ease itself back into misalignment after an adjustment. It will take several weeks or months of your chiropractor regularly putting your spine back into place for all inflammation that remains as a result of the misalignment and muscle tension to go away.
Your chiropractor will likely give you some exercises to do between adjustments in order to help keep your spine in alignment. He or she may also show you some natural strategies for alleviating any headaches you do experience, so you don't have to rely as heavily on pain relievers. These strategies may involve massaging the back of the neck and applying heat to the shoulder and neck area.
If you're tired of taking pain relievers to treat frequent headaches, see a chiropractor, such as those at Health Atlast Fountain Valley. By adjusting your spine, he or she can address the cause of the headaches, so you can live a pain-free, healthier life.