Headache & Migraine

The most common types of headache are the "primary headache disorders", such as tension-type headache and migraine.

They have typical features; migraine, for example, tends to be pulsating in character, affecting one side of the head, associated with nausea, disabling in severity, and usually lasts between 3 hours and 3 days. Some forms of migraine may stem from nerve stress in the vertebrae of the neck or may be triggered by muscle tension.

Tension-type headache pain is often described as a constant pressure, as if the head were being squeezed in a vice. The pain is frequently bilateral which means it is present on both sides of the head at once. Tension-type headache pain is typically mild to moderate, but may be severe. The pain can radiate from the neck, back, eyes, or other muscle groups in the body. Tension-type headaches account for nearly 90% of all headaches.

Various precipitating factors may cause tension headaches:

  • Stress: usually occurs in the afternoon after long stressful work hours or after an exam
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Uncomfortable stressful position and/or bad posture
  • Irregular meal time
  • Eyestrain
  • caffeine withdrawal
  • dehydration

Medication overuse headache may occur in those using excessive painkillers for headaches, parodoxically causing worsening headaches.

Your chiropractor is trained to diagnose the cause of your headache, and treat you accordingly, or refer you elsewhere if appropriate. Treatment involves specific adjustments, particularly to the neck and upper back, and soft tissue massage. This may also reduce the frequency or severity of some forms of migraine and allows the body to return to normal function and bring lasting relief. You may also be given an appropriate rehabilitation and maintenance plan to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

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