I often hear my patients offhandedly mention they just get the “normal” headaches in my practice. I actually hear this in reference to many of the conditions for which patients seek treatment. My response is always the same, “headaches are very common, but they are not normal”. And also that goes also for neck and back pain too!
Headaches are always a challenge as not only are there many types; Primary, tension, cluster, migraine, secondary, allergy/sinus, hormone, caffeine, exertion, hypertension, rebound, post-traumatic…(you get the point), there also are many causes.
At In8 Wellness Center our main goal is to find the “cause” of your symptoms. Is it something you are doing or not doing, ways you are moving or not, or a misalignment in your spine. As wellness practitioners we will look at all aspects of your health and lifestyle to determine with cause of your symptoms.
Disclaimer: Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of the following with your headache.
- “The worst possible headache you’ve ever had”
- Slurred speech
- Paralysis in any part of your body or visual loss.
Okay, now that is out of the way.
We learn in our training that “common things present commonly” and what that means is that most of what we see when it comes to headaches is that they are caused by some sort of tension which can be caused by misalignment or restriction in the cervical spine. Through our questionnaires, exams, and if necessary digital x-rays, we can help to narrow down the cause of your headaches.
The classic tension headaches present as a dull aching sensation all over your head. It typically is not throbbing and can be associated with tenderness around the neck, forehead, scalp or shoulder muscles.
These types of headaches respond very well to chiropractic care and we have had great success with them in our office. Some things you might want to think about are: what I am doing when these headaches come on? Is there an activity or posture that is contributing to the headaches?
Migraines are also something we see a lot of in our practice. Migraines are usually associated with or preceded by what is known as an aura; flashing lights, shimmering lights, zigzag lines, stars and/or blind spots.
Nausea and vomiting can also occur with these types of headaches. Migraines can run in the family and women are three times more likely to suffer from them then men. Migraines can certainly be more difficult to manage as they can be triggered by environmental factors such as; sleep disruption…
(Check out Dr. Ryan’s sleep seminar on our FB page here)
…dehydration, skipped meals, some foods, hormone fluctuations, and exposure to some chemicals. With migraines I find a good place to start is after a thorough evaluation is an elimination type diet, something like The Whole30. With these types of diets, the goal is to eliminate potential food triggers to try to narrow down potential nutritional causes to your migraines.
Regardless of what type of headache you are experiencing your first step should be a call to our office for an evaluation. That way we can help you get to the cause of your headaches, give you some practical steps to help avoid them and get you on a better road towards optimal health.