Headaches and Migraines - Kitchener Chiropractor
What is a headache?
More than 90% of headaches can be classified as one of the 3 following types:
1. Tension Headaches
Tension headaches frequently are associated with mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. It is often described as “band-like” pain and feels like something pressing tightly around your head. These headaches may be worsened with stress, fatigue, noise or light. Tight neck & scalp muscles give it the name tension headache.
2. Migraine Headaches
Migraines are periodic, severe, throbbing headaches that afflicts more women than men. Migraines often start with pain in and around the eye and spreads to involve one or both sides of your head. These headaches are often accompanied by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting & light sensitivity. Migraines are thought to be caused by changes to the blood flow in the head.
3. Cervicogenic Headaches
A cervicogenic headache is one that, although it is perceived to be arising in the head, actually originates from the cervical spine. The pain is often similar to a tension headache but migraine symptoms may also be present.
When should I be Concerned?
Headaches are symptoms and further investigation should be considered, particularly if any of the following are true:
• If there is a change to the frequency, longevity or severity of your headaches.
• If the onset was sudden and severe.
• If the headache followed coughing, sneezing or bending down.
• If there are other symptoms such as muscle pain, fever, weight loss, scalp tenderness or jaw pain.
• If there is confusion, seizures or any loss of consciousness.
How Can I Reduce My Headaches?
• If you spend a lot of time in one position such as at a computer, take a break and stretch your neck through a full range of motion.
• Low-impact exercise such as walking may relieve some headaches.
• Avoid teeth clenching.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and avoid caffeine & alcohol. Dehydration can lead to headaches.
• Avoid foods with high salt or sugar content.
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Proper care of any condition, involves caring for the cause and not just the symptoms. Your Kitchener Chiropractor will review your complete health history and perform a thorough physical examination to assess any physical abnormalities or pre-dispositions. After your assessment, your Chiropractor will make specific spinal adjustments and offer you advice on posture, exercises & relaxation techniques. Nutritional advice may also be given. Numerous studies have reported that Chiropractic care is effective in relieving the frequency and intensity of headaches. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective means of care for headaches without the use of drugs or surgery.