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Headaches and Migraines

Chiropractic Care for Headaches and Migraines

Common Headache/Migraine Symptoms

We have all suffered from minor headaches from time to time. Typically, these are due to stress, sleeping in an odd position or just having an off day. However, those of us that suffer from more chronic headache pain, even severe migraines, need to get at the root cause of these nuisances.

At Hawkeye Chiropractic we first focus on something chiropractors call the three Ts: trauma, toxins and thoughts. What are these you might ask. Trauma is typically from an injury, maybe from playing sports or an accident, like getting in to a car accident. Toxins result from our body reacting to our use of chemicals, like beauty products, skin care products, additives in the foods we eat and alcohol.  Thoughts are emotional. They stem from things like anxiety, depression and stress.

In addition to the three Ts we also look at other things.  Adverse reactions to drugs you might be taking, temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ, tightness in the muscles of your neck, high or elevated blood pressure, low blood sugar and of course fatigue.  The clear majority of chronic or recurring headaches consist of two types; tension headaches, also known as cervicogenic headaches and migraine headaches. The third, less common, type of headache called a cluster headache that is related to the migraine.

When these headaches occur, no matter what type, your body tends to become tense. You probably get some tightness and pain in your neck or your shoulders and even the base of your skull where your head meets the neck. That is where the nerve irritation typically begins, which then causes muscle spasms, resulting in pain to your head, hence, the headache. These headache causes vary but commonly occur because of a problem in the neck or cervical spine, degeneration or herniation of discs, pinched nerves, or even fluid flow on your spinal cord.

Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches and Migraines

So how can chiropractic help relieve these headaches and migraines? If you are prone to headaches or migraines or you even have one every so often, you know how painful they can be. A headache can be a disruption to your day or night and can make it difficult to concentrate on any task, however small or large.

Those three Ts we spoke about above also contribute to something called subluxations in the spine. At Hawkeye Chiropractic we treat these subluxations. A subluxation in your spine can prevent proper communication from the brain to the body. If you have subluxation in your spine it means one or possibly more or your vertebrate have moved out of position. This can cause stress or irritation on your nerves, which then prevents your body from healing properly.

Multiple studies have found a correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the reduction of migraine and headache symptoms. Studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments are very effective for treating headaches, especially headaches that originate in the neck. A 2001 report from Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, stated, “spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than commonly prescribed medications.”

At Hawkeye Chiropractic we understand each individual is different. That is why we perform a thorough evaluation before we determine a proper treatment plan for our headache and migraine patients. Most cases which involve tension headaches include manipulating the upper two cervical vertebrae and include adjustments to the junction between the cervical and thoracic spine. Patients treated this way have seen significant improvement in the frequency and severity of the headaches they were having.  This same treatment is also helpful in most cases of migraine headaches, however, sometimes those patients require food and lifestyle changes as well.

If you are someone that suffers from tension headaches or migraines, contact Hawkeye Chiropractic to make your appointment.