Headaches and migraines are among the top reasons people begin their search for a chiropractor. On average, 45 million Americans suffer from headaches each year, and those that experience regular migraines are reported to miss an average of 19 days of work.
The symptoms of headaches and migraines differ. Headaches are usually milder, with pain localized behind the eyes and sinuses, or around the temples. These forms of headaches are usually described as “Sinus Headaches” or “Tension Headaches”. Sinus headaches will often be related to colds, allergies, or sinus infections. Tension headaches are usually triggered by stress, a need for contacts or glasses, poor nutrition, or physical causes; even a ponytail holder wrapped too tightly can result in a tension headache.
Migraines tend to be far more severe because they include many more symptoms and affect more areas of the body. Migraines result in tremendous generalized pain around the head as well as nausea, depression, vomiting, and intense sensitivity to light and sound and even smells. About 25% of those with regular migraines will experience a migraine four times per month. Oftentimes, these migraines can be so severe, it sends its victim to the emergency room for relief!
While their symptoms are different, the cause(s) behind headaches and migraines are very similar, and usually overlooked if medication is the only form of treatment being used. Chiropractors will address more than the symptoms of headaches and migraines—they will look for the reasons that headaches and migraines are occurring. A previous injury (concussion, whiplash, etc.), poor posture (while walking, standing, sleeping, sitting, etc.), poor nutrition, and even having a difficult birth can leave behind damage to the spine, resulting in misalignments or subluxations. These subluxations interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal by itself. If there are subluxations in the cervical spine (neck), no amount of medication will be able to correct it!