Migraines, Headaches and Chiropractic

Tension-type and migraine headaches were estimated by one study to collectively affect 20% of the global population, being the second and third most common diseases in the world (interestingly tooth decay tops the tables at number 1!)

Substantial research has found that chiropractic can provide beneficial outcomes in dealing with both tension and migraine headaches.

This is a very specific type of headache which is diagnosed by fitting a certain criteria.  This includes but is not limited to; severe pain lasting 4-72 hours when treated or untreated, only affects one side of the head, has a pulsating quality, is associated with nausea/vomiting, causes the sufferer to retreat from their daily routine, does not respond to over the counter painkillers and they may or may not have visual or aural symptoms preceding head pain.  Sufferers have often developed the condition when quite young in childhood/adolescence but on the whole 80% of sufferers have their first episode before their 30th birthday.  The main difference between migraines and other headaches is it is not just head pain it has other qualities and the sufferer cannot function during an episode, retreating to stillness in a darkened room.

If you have or suspect you have migraine headaches and would like to discuss your symptoms before booking an appointment please give us a call or come in for a chat as each person’s symptoms and suffering are very different.

Tension-type and neck related Headaches
This category of headache is complicated and varied but is thought to come from tension of the neck muscles, stress and lifestyle factors.  The pain described is typically a dull ache with tightness around one or both sides of the head.  It can be around the eyes or back of the head and may or may not have neck pain as well.  Some people may find these headaches to be totally disabling but others can carry on with their day around it.

Treatment of Headaches
Each headache sufferer is assessed thoroughly as both the signs and symptoms can vary widely, even from one day to the next.  Sometimes the headaches are not the only issue a person comes in with, they may have other areas of pain such as shoulders or low back so a comprehensive neurological, orthopaedic and chiropractic evaluation is always performed.  Treatment is only commenced once a diagnosis is reached, plan of management is discussed and each patient explained the risk and benefits of the interventions offered.  Chiropractic offers a safe and effective treatment to help reduce the severity and frequency of tension-type and migraine headaches.

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