Understand where headaches come from and how drug-free chiropractic treatment for headaches in Denver can help you.
Different Types of Headaches
Regardless of how frequently (or infrequently) they occur, you don’t have to live headaches. The International Headache Society found that headaches impact almost 40 percent of Americans. In fact, 45 million Americans suffer from headaches every year. The 3 most common types of headaches are tension headaches, migraines, and cervicogenic headaches.
Tension-type headaches commonly present as a “band-like” tension around the head. Migraine headaches are usually one-sided and can include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. These headaches can also be referred to as stress headaches.
Cervicogenic headaches result from issues in the neck, but the pain is perceived in one or more areas of the head and/or face. The causes of headaches are not always well understood but a family history of headaches, neck stiffness, and stress are common factors.
Too much screen time, loud music, lack of food (or food allergies), and dehydration can all cause these types of headaches. However, there is a natural, drug-free way to get rid of these headaches!
How Does Chiropractic Care Help Headaches?
Chiropractic care is a great way to manage and even relieve tension headaches, migraines, and cervicogenic headaches. Chiropractors are specifically trained to assess, diagnose, and manage headaches.
Adjustments performed by chiropractors are a safe, non-invasive, non-addictive alternative to potentially dangerous prescription medications and over-the-counter pain medications (OTCs).
Chiropractic adjustments reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body (called a ‘subluxation’) which reduce inflammation and improve function of the affected joint and nervous system. By increasing joint mobility and removing interference from the nervous system, your body can better manage the pain caused by migraines and tension headaches.
Chiropractic adjustments provide relief for patients with migraines and tension headaches in the following ways:
- Reduced pain and discomfort
- Decreased inflammation
- Relief from stress and tension disorders
- Improved physical function and performance
Can Chiropractic Help My Headaches?
To find out if chiropractic care is right for your condition, the chiropractor will sit with you to learn the details of your specific problem. Things like what makes your headaches better or worse, what brought your headaches on, and how long you have had headaches.
Next, you will receive thorough exam to find out the cause of your headaches and if necessary, x-rays may be taken. Based on the findings of your chiropractic consultation and exam, the doctor will determine a treatment plan to best address your specific problem
Being able to think clearly and calmly allows us to make decisions, process emotions, and carry on with our day-to-day lives. Headaches can easily affect our ability to do these things. Many people have occasional headaches, but frequent headaches that affect your sleep, work, or school, can be disabling.
What Else Can Help with Headaches
Chiropractors can assess, diagnose, and manage headaches. Current evidence suggests that chiropractic care, including manual therapy, can be effective in treating cervicogenic and tension headaches. Studies have also shown that chiropractic care can help decrease the intensity and frequency of migraines. The other treatment options that Chiropractors can provide may include:
- Soft tissue therapy (e.g., massage)
- Modalities including electrical stimulation, acupuncture, and ultrasound
- Rehabilitation stretches and exercises
- Lifestyle changes and education
It’s important to take your headaches seriously. Schedule a visit with a chiropractor if you have frequent headaches (more than 1-2 per week), if you frequently take prescription or OTC medications for your headaches, if your headache pattern changes, or if your headaches are getting progressively worse. You should seek prompt attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury, or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking.
Dangers of Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications
OTC medications can provide relief for your allergies, upset stomach, or other ailments with having to visit your doctor. However, quick access to these drugs is not without risks and potential dangers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines whether a drug needs a prescription or if it is an OTC medication. According to the FDA, more than 700 products sold over the counter today, have ingredients in them at doses that required a prescription 30 years ago.
Drug Reactions and Headaches
Serious drug reactions can occur when combining prescription medications with OTC medications. When medications conflict with each other in our bodies, doctors refer to it as a “drug-drug interaction”. This is especially common when you combine a prescription drug with an OTC medication that both have similar active ingredients. This interaction can result in totally new medical problems. For example, a prescription anti-inflammatory drug and OTC ibuprofen fight inflammation using similar mechanisms.
Another problem occurs when two medications have the opposite effects inside our bodies. For example, a prescription drug designed to lower your blood pressure may interact with an OTC medication that results in higher blood pressure. One medication can also affect the way your body processes or absorbs another, resulting in the failure of the medication to work properly.
Food Sensitivities and Headaches
Another dangerous type of reaction involves food. Some medications require an empty stomach while others require that you take them with food. Allergic reactions to combined OTC medications and prescription medications are not uncommon. Discussing your medications with your doctor is important for understanding what OTC medications are safe for your condition.
The Dangers of Mixing Medications
Prescription medication and its possible interactions with OTC medicines can be very confusing if you are seeing multiple health care providers. This can result in one doctor approving an OTC medication without knowing all the medications you may already be taking.
The purpose of OTC medications is to relieve your headaches. The goal of prescription medications is to alleviate or treat a serious health condition. Unfortunately, when these two are mixed, the results can be very bad and very serious.
The pain caused by headaches can have a significantly negative effect on your health, well-being, and quality of life. Luckily, for over 125 years, chiropractic care has enabled patients to safely take action to treat their pain.
Call Integrative Health and Rehabilitation today at (303) 424-7171 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation to find out if we can safely provide relief for your headaches.