Headaches come in many forms and can have different presentations. The most common is the tension or stress headache. The nice thing is that chiropractic has a long standing, proven track record of safe and effective treatment of headaches. Tension in the neck and upper back can cause cervicogenic headaches.
Vascular spasms inside the head can be a source of headache and can be treated with manipulation through the retromeningeal arteries near the atlas. Some mechanical sources relate to traction stressors on the meningies, also near the atlas (top bone of the spine). These common causes of headache can easily be treated through chiropractic manipulation.
There are a number of reasons that headaches can have a more dire cause. These need to be ruled out before a program of adjusting can begin. Red flags exist with headaches that should trigger you to seek emergency care with your medical facility of choice. A couple of those include: weakness or numbness on one side of the body, facial drooping on one side of the face only, having the worst headache of your life when you normally have only mild or moderate headaches. See your medical doctor if you have weakness, confusion, fever, double vision, or difficulty speaking. Also, if you have had a significant head injury followed by a headache, stop at the urgent care or ER first. As you may have guessed by the opening words of caution, headaches are not to be taken for granted.
There are many other migraine type of headaches. Headaches tend to run the gamut of pain ranges from very mild to extremely severe and debilitating. I know many people who, when they get a migraine, have to go into a dark, quiet room and try to sleep through the pain. Some migraines are so severe that they cause nausea and/or vomiting. I have had some success in treating migraines but by catching them in the earliest phases and adjusting. If the migraine has gone into its full blown set of symptoms, a medical visit and/or prescription medication will likely be the best approach.
I try to treat the cause of headaches. By that, I mean that I treat the upper neck with an adjustment, which relieves the stress on the dura mater, resulting in a decrease of some of the pain complex of the headaches. Many of the headaches that I see respond very well to specific adjustments. I can usually tell when the muscles of the neck start to relax. Once we see neck changes, most of the headache sufferers report that they begin to feel much better.
I use a great deal of caution in treating a headache sufferer for the first time. Mostly, I don’t want to delay care for someone who has a more serious condition. I always encourage people under my care to seek co-care or a second opinion, if they feel that they need it. I am always concerned about how you, as the patient, are responding to treatments. I’d like to have the opportunity to see you, if you are having headaches.