Headaches and Migraines
Common Causes of Headaches
There are many reasons why Singaporeans might feel the symptoms of a headache. That dull, throbbing sensation in your head could be due to stress, anxiety, a lack of sleep, hunger, or poor posture, just to name a few. These causes can all trigger an imbalance of circulation in the head and while the first thought is to reach for an aspirin or acetaminophen to alleviate the pain, chronic headaches and migraines will continue unabated without treatment that gets to the root cause of the problem instead of merely masking the symptoms.
In order to treat the problem it's important to first understand the type of headache and symptoms you are experiencing. The pain might be classified as dull and nagging or sharp and severe, lasting for as little as a few excruciating minutes to as long as a day or two.
Consider these common causes of headaches:
- Low Blood Sugar
- High Blood Pressure
- TMJ Problems (temporomandibular joint)
- Grinding of teeth during sleep
A tension headache will typically start out as mild, becoming more gradually intense. They are often felt in the middle of the day or in the evening as these headaches are the result of stress and other anxiety factors that can weigh heavily on the mind.
Tension headaches are the most common, associated with symptoms described as an aching discomfort that can be felt around the entire head or located at just one side. Sometimes it may be felt at the back of the head or a dull ache behind the eyes.
The discomfort may subside after a half hour or so, sometimes it may come and go over several days. While the severity of the symptoms may vary, the main cause behind a tension headache could be originating from the spinal area. Subluxations along the upper back or neck, particularly at the Upper Cervical Spine, are a common trigger for a tension headache along with other contributing factors related to posture or sitting in an awkward manner.
This type of headache is more acute with symptoms being felt behind the eyes on either the right or left side of the head. It also lasts for shorter durations. The reason these are referred to as "cluster" headaches is due to the frequency and patterns in which they occur, usually around one to four times a day over the course of multiple days. Once the pattern subsides, you may not feel the symptoms again for months or even years before returning again and causing frequent, severe pain in a cluster of flare-ups. Similar to migraines, cluster headaches are typically the cause of dilated blood vessels in the brain and increased pressure.
Migraine sufferers will often report symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to light or sound, sharp exhausting pain, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and pain in the eyes.
The leading causes of migraine headaches are high levels of stress, intense noise, hormonal imbalances, even certain types of foods, along with spinal misalignment and subluxations. All of these have been known to trigger a migraine headache and when traditional remedies have been insufficient the next logical step is to consider chiropractic treatment.
Unfortunately, there is no cure to prevent migraines and the medications that doctors prescribe for treatment often come with unwanted side effects. These prescriptions include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and muscle relaxants, both of which can be powerful and they don't target the root cause of the migraine but merely the symptoms that come from it.
Many people who complain of migraine headaches are surprised to discover that chiropractic care can be highly effective in relieving the symptoms and keep the headache from returning again.
How Chiropractic Treatment Helps Relieve Headache Pain
When the vertebra in the neck is out of alignment or becomes injured as a result of an accident, a fall, or simply sleeping in an awkward position throughout the night, headaches of the above variety can occur. Poor alignment centered at the neck and skull puts undue pressure on blood vessels and lymph nodes, leading to poor circulation and tight muscles that contribute to headaches.
But chiropractic treatment focused on the Upper Cervical Spine can provide relief for the long term. At Light Chiropractic, our certified team of chiropractors are trained in diagnosing and treating headaches through spinal and muscular adjustments aimed at increasing circulation while relaxing the head and neck. The proper adjustments applied with precision can help relieve stress tension and reduce the possibility of future headaches causing you pain and discomfort.
The next time you are experiencing painful chronic headaches don't reach for that bottle of aspirin, give our office a call and schedule a consultation with one of our chiropractic practitioners to address the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms.