Tell me about...
What kinds of headaches are there?
More than 90 percent of headaches can be classified as tension-type,
migraine or cervicogenic.
By far, most people get tension-type headaches and get them
frequently. They typically suffer mild to moderate pain, on
both sides of the head, that is often described as tight,
stiff, and constricting like having something wrapped around
your head and pressed tightly.
Migraines are periodic severe, throbbing headaches that afflict
than men, and can cause
loss of appetite, nausea and even vomiting. They usually hurt on one side of the head and may involve a visual change called an aura.
Conversely, cervicogenic headache is a musculoskeletal form of tension-type
headache, which may also be related to migraines. Many times,
cervicogenic headache goes undiagnosed as such due to the
relative newness of this classification.
Who suffers from headaches?
Many millions of adults, worldwide, get headaches regularly.
Headaches are among the most common physical complaints prompting
people to treat themselves or get professional assistance.
One estimate holds that some 50 million people in the U.S.
get severe, long-lasting, recurring headaches. Most headaches
are not signs of serious underlying conditions, but they can
be very distracting, debilitating and account for significant
amounts of time lost from work.
What should I be concerned about?
If you are a headache sufferer, your obvious concern is to
obtain safe, dependable relief. You should avoid making things
worse by using drugs even over-the-counter, nonprescription
drugs that can have serious side effects and dangerous
interactions with other medications or supplements you take.
You should also be aware that many people experience what
are termed "analgesic rebound headaches" from taking
painkillers every day, or nearly every day. Use caution, as the
medicine you take to get rid of today's headache may give
you a headache tomorrow and the days after.
What can chiropractic do?
Chiropractors have had considerable success relieving the
cause of headache pain and releasing headache sufferers from
the dangerous, vicious circle of taking ever-larger doses of
ever-stronger painkillers that may be causing new and
Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to be as effective and
even more effective than medications in reducing the severity
and frequency of headaches. Chiropractic is particularly successful
dealing with cervicogenic headache. Even though cervicogenic
and other tension-type headaches may not actually involve
stress or muscle tension, chiropractic's ability to adjust
spinal abnormalities seems to lessen or remove the forces
contributing to many individualspi headache pain.
If you suffer from migraines, you're certainly not alone. They're relatively common, affecting an estimated 10% of the population. What can be done to get rid of migraines? According to a recent study, chiropractic care may hold the answer.
One hundred and twenty-seven migraine patients having(at least one migraine per month) were divided into two groups for comparison. Group 1 received chiropractic adjustments at specific vertebral subluxations determined by the treating practitioner; group 2 served as controls and received inactive treatment (electrical stimulation with no current delivered). Subjects receiving chiropractic adjustments reported substantial improvement in migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication use following two months of treatment. One in five participants reported a 90% reduction in migraines, and half reported significant improvement in migraine severity.
Are you tired of migraine headaches ruining your day? With conventional over-the-counter medications proving less than effective (and often accompanied by dangerous side effects), it's time to fight the pain from another angle. To find out more about the potential benefits of chiropractic care, schedule an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic.
- Bove G, Nilsson N. Spinal manipulation
in the treatment of episodic tension-type headache, The
Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 11,
1998; vol. 280, no. 18, pp1576-79.
- Nelson CF, Bronfort G, Evans R. et al. The efficacy
of spinal manipulation, amitriptyline and the combination
of both therapies for prophylaxis of migraine headache. Journal
of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Oct. 1998;
vol. 21, no. 8, pp511-19.
- Zwart J. Neck Mobility in different headache disorders. Headache, Jan. 1997; vol. 37, pp6-11.
- Nilsson N, Christiansen HW, Hartvigsen J. The effect
of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
June 1997;vol. 20, no. 5, pp326-30.
- Martelletti P, LaTour D, Giacovazzo M. Spectrum of
pathophysiological disorders in cervicogenic headache and
its therapeutic indications, Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal
System, Winter 1995; vol. 3, no. 4, pp167-8
- Nelson CF. The Tension Headache, Migraine Headache
Continuum: A Hypothesis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological
Therapeutics, March/April 1994; vol. 17, no. 3, pp156-66.