Originally written and posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors
Headaches are a common inconvenience for many Albertans. They can seemingly strike at any time.
Nearly 90 per cent of women and about 70 per cent of men will get a tension headache during their lifetime, while 37 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men experience them regularly.
Most believe the only cure for a pounding headache is simply to just grin, bear it and let it pass. The good news is there are ways to both prevent and treat frequent headaches.
What causes a headache?
A headache is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t quite right. Most of the common causes of the milder variety of headaches stem from something you are either doing or not doing. These include;
- missing meals
- consuming excessive alcohol
- excessive stress
- not getting enough sleep.
In rare cases, headaches can be sparked by more serious problems. It’s important to rule any significant health issues out as early as possible, if your headaches are becoming a major problem.
Your headaches could also be caused misalignments in your body. These misalignments, which commonly happen in cervical vertebrae (spinal bones within the neck structure) can irritate the nerve roots in the neck and may even cause minor constrictions in some vessels which supply blood to the brain. Your cervical vertebrae can become misaligned for many reasons, which can be anything from excessive physical stress to severe emotional strain.
How your chiropractor can help
Your chiropractor is an excellent source to deduce the cause of your frequent headaches.
They will perform a thorough spinal examination to determine whether the symptoms are coming from misalignments in your body.
On the flip side, they can also rule out misalignments and find out if your headaches are coming from your lifestyle choices (poor diet, alcohol consumption, not enough sleep, etc.).
If misalignments are the culprit, your chiropractor may perform a simple spinal adjustment to improve function and help alleviate your headache. Other treatment options are also available.
Chiropractic has been proven to help those suffering from chronic migraines. An Australian study found seventy-two per cent of migraine sufferers in a clinical trial experienced either 'substantial' or 'noticeable' improvement after a period of chiropractic treatment.