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Headaches

Headaches are a common condition that individuals can experience several times within their lifespan. The primary symptom of a headache can be marked by a stiff, dull, achy or throbbing pain within the neck or head – some may only experience pain on one side of the head and neck. Although headaches can occur to anyone, those who engage in repetitive neck movements or are in sustain postures for prolong periods of time – such as sitting on a computer – are more likely to experience a headache. When we encounter ourselves in these positions, it places pressure and compresses the related muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and/or nerves of the neck – which cause pain in the head in the form of a headache. Other ways one may experience a headache include; whiplash/ blunt trauma, poor/impaired posture, reduced movement of the neck, and immediately after a provocative event/ the morning after.

Types of Headache:

They are various types of headaches that one may experience. Below is a list of common types of headaches:

    Migraine: Everyone who experiences a migraine may have different symptoms. Migraines are a very strong headache that can cause vomiting, sensitivity to light, and nausea. They can last hours till a couple of days. The cause for this type of headache is unknown, however possible risk factors can include:

    • Gender: Women have migraines more often than men
    • Age: Ages between 10-40 typically suffer from migraines more often than other ages
    • Past/current medical conditions: Conditions such as sleep disorders, depression and anxiety can trigger migraines
    • Other factors: Other factors can include stress, skipping meals, caffeine, changes in weather, changes in sleep, or eating certain types of foods

    Cervicogenic Headaches: These types of headaches start from the neck with pain being perceived in the head. This type of headache typically originates within the upper 3 vertebrae of the neck. The main cause for these headaches are due to engaging in an activity that puts a lot of pressure/stress on the upper back. This can happen during or after a proactive event – such as a blunt trauma or whiplash – but can also occur the morning after the event. Symptoms can vary person to person, however they consist of a stiff neck, pain on one side of the head/face, pain that stays in one spot, and even generalized neck pain.

    Tension/Stress Headaches: Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. These are marked with a dull/achy pain, and pressure sensation on the forehead or back of the head/neck. These headaches can last up to 30 minutes to a couple of days. Triggering factors can include:

    • Not getting enough rest
    • Anxiety
    • Emotional/mental stress
    • Low iron levels
    • Hunger
    • Fatigue
    • And much more

Chiropractic Treatment:backpain 3

Chiropractic treatment has been shown as one of the most effective therapies to help assess, treat, and diagnose various types of headaches; these include but are not limited to cervicogenic, migraines and tension headaches. There has also been scientific evidence to prove that chiropractic’s can help reduce/decrease the intensity and frequency of headaches.

It is hard to dictate and tell you how exactly chiropractic treatment can help treat those suffering from headaches. This is because everyone’s treatment plan is individualized – it is based on your needs, goals, and findings from your initial assessment. However, your treatment plan can include patient education, spinal mobilization/manipulation, manual therapy, therapeutic modalities, and a prescribed exercise program. They are also other effective treatment options that our chiropractor can recommended to you; such as stress management, diet changes and biofeedback.

Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy also serve as effective treatment interventions to help those who have headaches. Book an appointment with our Chiropractor if you suffer from headaches and he will help you along your journey!

What are the best Exercises to do? backpain 2

Since posture of the spine- specifically in the neck – is the most common reason for developing headaches, the goal for exercises is to improve posture. However, keep in mind that it is best to see a Physiotherapist and/or Chiropractor as they can create an individuated exercise program as it will be more effective in treating your specific needs.

Common exercises can include:

1. Chin Tucks:
To perform this exercise, start by lying down on your back. Roll a small towel and place it behind your neck. Then, bring your chin towards your chest without lifting your head up from the towel – try to think of it as making a double chin! Hold this position for ~8 seconds and repeat ~10 times.

2. Shoulder Blade Retractions:
Start this exercise by sitting upright with good posture. Start by pulling your shoulder blades together and hold this position for ~8 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

3. Neck Stretches – Upper Trapezius Stretch:
Start this exercise by sitting upright with good posture on a chair. Place your hand on your head and gently pull your head towards your shoulder. You should feel a gentle stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times on each side.

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Chiropractic Care Brampton ON | (905) 458-6677