Understanding Headaches And How A Chiropractor Can Help
If you suffer from headaches, there may be many different reasons why. Headaches are often a warning sign that there are problems somewhere else in the body.
At Broadway At Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we aim to locate the source of your headaches and treat the condition in a natural fashion. Before we discuss a chiropractic approach to headaches though, let’s first discuss the different types of headaches.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON types of headaches?
As mentioned, there are a few different types of headaches. Here’s a list of common one’s that our chiropractors treat regularly:
Depending on the type of headaches you suffer from, you may require the use of strong pain medications, rest, and reduced exposure to triggers such as bright light, certain smells, etc. However, some patients prefer a more natural approach to pain relief. The main goal of our Chiropractors is to diagnose and treat the root cause of tension headaches. At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, our chiropractors provide safe and effective treatment for conditions that are related to problems with muscles, tension, and nerves within the neck.
There are seven cervical vertebrae in the spine. One or more of these vertebrae can become misaligned due to injury, excessive physical force or exertion, and sometimes even from stress. This misalignment is known as a subluxation.
Once a subluxation occurs, an irritation of the nerve roots in the neck can sometimes cause a constriction in some of the blood vessels that supply the brain. Subluxation commonly results in a tension headache.
At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, as part of your diagnosis, our Chiropractors will perform a special examination that will include the following:
AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR POSTURE AND FLEXIBILITY
AN ASSESSMENT OF YOUR MUSCLE STRENGTH
PALPATION TO INDICATE PARTICULAR AREAS OF PAIN AND TENDERNESS
As well, X-rays and neurological tests may be ordered to confirm or rule out other conditions.These tests will assist with determining whether or not you will benefit from Chiropractic treatments for your tension headaches.
If we determine that you’re a good candidate for Chiropractic therapy, a treatment plan will be put together that will include a combination of in-office treatments, combined with special exercises that you can perform at home to maintain the results of treatment.
chiropractic treatment for headaches
One of the main methods used by our Chiropractors to treat tension headaches is chiropractic adjustment and manipulation. There are two ways of performing this treatment:
1. Cervical Spinal Manipulation – a high-velocity low-amplitude adjustment technique.
2. Cervical Spinal Mobilization – a more gentle and less forceful adjustment technique.
Some patients report an immediate improvement in their tension headache pain after their first treatment. The reasoning behind this improvement is that once the tension within the neck and vertebrae has been relieved, the tension felt in a tension headache will also be relieved.
TREATMENT AT HOME
Along with the treatments delivered by our Chiropractors, you can also take several steps at home to help prevent and reduce your headache symptoms, such as the following:
Use an ice pack or cold compress on your temples and forehead
The use a heating pad on your neck and shoulders
Apply gentle massage to the back of your neck every hour or two to help loosen the muscles
Take frequent rests and use an ergonomic neck pillow that will support the neck but prevent the head from being pushed forward during sleep
Also try to avoid bright light including sunlight when you first feel a headache coming on and try to reduce noise exposure. This will prevent the headache from worsening.
Further, one of our Vancouver chiropractors may also recommend a visit to one of our Registered Massage Therapists, who can continue to work on the muscles of your neck and back, and also teach you some methods of stress management and relaxation therapy that you can perform at home or on the go.
The following stretching exercises may be prescribed to work in tandem with your chiropractic treatments as a way of maintaining the benefits of your treatment:
1. With your shoulders relaxed, stand with your back straight.
2. Bring your right ear down towards your shoulder and roll your head towards the ground.
3. Hold for a few seconds, and then roll your head to the left.
4. Roll your head back to a normal position.
1. Find a place to position yourself on the floor (on all fours), with hands shoulder width apart, knees hip-width apart, and your back straight.
2. Arch your back towards the ceiling, and work your abs so as to pull your belly button down towards the floor.
3. Let your head gently fall into your arms.
1. Hold your left arm across your body and grab the back of the elbow with your right hand.
2. Gently pull the left elbow in as far as possible to allow the fingers of your right hand to reach your back.
3. Continue to hold this position for up to 30 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side.
HEADACHE TREATMENT SUMMARY
There are many different natural treatments and therapies that the chiropractors at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage can offer or recommend to treat your headaches in a natural drug-free way. Our Vancouver Chiropractors are experts at helping to reduce and alleviate your headache pain in as little as one visit.
Call us or email us for a free headache consultation.