A pounding in your head, aching in your neck, pain behind the eye, nausea, light and sound sensitivity. When will the pain stop? You may have suffered from some of these
common symptoms reported by headache patients. Annually millions of Americans suffer from headache pain making it the most commonly treated ailment. In an effort to control the pain, billions of dollars of pain medicine is taken annually in America, but often the pain continues. More doctors are seen. More drugs are used. The search goes on, sometimes without hope. There is an alternative, drugless approach to headache management that not only will help the pain, but will often decrease the occurrence and the severity of the attacks.
Our doctors have special training in the management of headache pain and have an appreciation of the predicament that you, the headache sufferer, find yourself. Many years of study have shown that headaches are often caused by malfunction of the joints of the neck. The joints may feel okay, but they may not be moving the way they were designed to move. This will cause a cascade of problems, usually leading to a headache. The degree of headache is often in direct relation to the degree of functional loss in the neck. Many things can cause this neck malfunction including trauma such as falls and car accidents or work stress and posture problems. Emotional stress has also been shown to cause these neck problems, and a headache will usually follow. Sometimes even after the stress is gone, the neck malfunction continues, leaving the headache sufferer without a clue as to what is going on. Other causes of headache include reactions to chemicals. A hangover headache is the most common of these. Others are diet-triggered migraines. Once the cause of this headache is removed, relief quickly comes. The most frightening causes of headache are pathologies (tumors, strokes) of the head and brain. The possibility of this being the cause of the headache compounds the anxiety of the headache sufferer and often adds to the confusion as to where to get help.
Our doctors are trained to properly evaluate the cause of the headache. Examination procedures often clearly reveal the cause of the pain. However, sometimes CAT scans or MRI’s are necessary, and they are utilized when indicated. We also work with some of the most respected neurologists in the area to insure proper diagnosis and treatment of the headaches. If your case needs medical attention, you will be referred for that assistance.
If your problem is caused by vertebral malfunction, we have several ways of dealing with that problem. Not all headaches are alike and the treatments will vary depending on multiple factors.
A treatment will be designed specifically for you and your needs. Treatments could include spinal manipulative therapy, physical therapy, muscular re-training, and posture stabilization. Your sleep posture may also be modified with a special neck pillow. Your participation is vital in getting your headaches under control. It is important that you clearly explain to your doctor how you are doing between visits into the clinic. The more specific you can be about the nature of your headache pain, the better.
The following suggestions are imperative to your healing process:
Get your stress in order. I know this is a big request. But it is the most important, and that is why it is first on the list. Avoid the stress if you can, or modify it if possible. If severe, find help from your pastor or counselor. There are ways to get your life under control, and it is essential that you do so.
Exercise regularly. Moderate aerobic exercise, like a 25 minute brisk walk, does wonders for your physical and emotional well-being. Exercise daily, if possible, but not less than three times per week. Exercise also removes the results of stress. Therefore, it is helpful in getting your life under control.
Watch your posture habits, especially your neck. When talking on the phone, don’t prop it on your shoulder. Don’t sleep on your stomach or put your neck in a straining position. Evaluate your posture habits for situations that put your neck in a strain. Poor posture may be adding to your problem.
Watch your diet. Look out for chemicals you use that could trigger your headache. Many people are sensitive to chocolate, MSG in food, or to certain perfumes. Consider if your headache could be caused by exposure to these chemicals and inform your doctor. Feel free to discuss any of these points with your doctor or ask any questions that you may have.
Our doctors want to help you with your headaches.