Taking aspirin for a headache is common, but it merely masks the pain. The pain does not go away! It is still there, you just don’t feel it because the pain messages are being blocked. Sometimes taking medication is inevitable, but it’s not a long term solution. Our doctors provide headache relief for many types of headaches, such as tension headaches, sinus headahces, cluster headaches and more.
It’s not uncommon for us to meet patients for the first time and hear that they take over-the-counter painkillers daily! Honestly, that’s horrible. Painkillers are not designed to be taken on a daily basis. We don’t blame these patients, they simply don’t know what else to do to get headache relief. Unfortunately, this relief never lasts and is only temporary. It’s like putting a band-aid on a check engine light.
Causes of a Headache
The causes of a headache vary greatly. Anything from a simple cold or toothache can cause a headache to something more serious like a brain tumor or meningitis. By far, it is one of the most common reasons why people go to the doctor. Fortunately, 95% of headaches are not life threatening, and are considered benign. The majority are classified as tension headaches. Second most common is a snius headache.
A headache is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Help! Thankfully, we have answers for patients that are tired of taking medications just to be able to get to work or drop off their kids at school. Plus, taking pain killers requires increased doses to have the same desired effect over time. This a lose-lose situation.
Tension headaches are usually caused by muscle contractions in your head, neck and shoulder muscles. They are one of the most common headaches experienced by adults and are often caused by “emotional stress” that leads to stiffness in your muscles and joints. They are also known as stress headaches. There are 2 types of tension headaches. Episodic tension headaches happen less than 15 days per month, while chronic tension headaches happen more than 15 days per month. Although these headaches are common, they are not normal. That is way too many headaches.
The most common symptoms for tension headaches are:
A headache that starts later in the day
Feeling very tired
These headaches typically begin slowly and increase gradually in intensity in the middle of the day. You feel like you have a tight band squeezing your head with a continuous dull ache on both sides, and pain that wraps around to your neck or from your neck.
These types of headaches, if not properly treated, can lead to a vicious circle of more muscular tension leading to more intense headaches making it difficult to get tension headache relief. Chiropractic adjustments help alleviate tension headaches by restoring proper alignment of your spine and at the same time releasing the built-up tension in your muscles.
Your sinuses are air-filled spaces inside of your cheekbones, under the the bridge of your nose, and your forehead. When your sinuses get irritated, they make more mucus, swell and get stuffed up. This build-up of pressure causes head pain.
It’s important to differentiate between sinus headaches and migraines, as they have several similarities: 1. both have moderate to severe headache as a symptom, 2. changes in weather can trigger both conditions, and 3. facial pressure can present with both migraines and sinus headaches.
Because of the location of the sinuses, pain below or above the eyes is a tale-tell sign of a sinus headache. Unless you have an active sinus infection, we don’t recommend taking antibiotics. Especially because many sinus headaches are actually migraines that have been misdiagnosed. Proper diagnosis ensures that you get sinus headache relief. Excessive use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance and digestive issues. Keep in mind that other migraine symptoms are clear nasal drainage, nausea, visual disturbances, and sensory sensitiviity.
Cluster headaches get their name from the cyclical pattern in which they happen. It’s very common for patients to say that the pain wakes them up in the middle of the night, with severe pain near one eye or one side of their head. Cluster periods can last from weeks to several months. A period of remission lasting months to years usually follows.
The good news is that cluster headaches are rare and typically not life-threatening. Unlike migraine patients, people with cluster headaches feel restless and will pace back and forth. If light sensitivity or sound sensitivity is felt, it is typically only experienced on one side of the face. A single episode can last from15 minutes to several hours, and often happen at the same time of day. Once the cluster headache clears, patients are pain-free but feel worn out.
When to Seek Emergency Care
We recommend you seek emergency care if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:
A severe, abrupt headache, often like a thunderclap
A headache with fever, vomiting or nausea, mental confusion, seizures, numbness, or difficulty speaking
A headache after an injury to the head, even if you consider it to be a minor injury, and especially if it worsens
A sudden and severe headache, described as the worse headache of your life
A headache that changes in pattern and worsens over days
Headache pain, even when intense , typically isn’t due to disease. However, it’s important to see your doctor if your headaches suddenly feel different. Rare but severe conditions, such as brain tumors and meningitis, need to be ruled out.
NUCCA Spinal Care Provides Headache Relief
NUCCA is an upper cervical chiropractic technique that does not require any popping, cracking or twisting of your neck or spine. Patients love that it is a low force technique. The amount of pressure used during the adjustment is the same amount of pressure used to take your pulse. It feels like a gentle touch behind your ear. The upper neck is adjusted only when needed, with the ultimate goal of not needing an adjustment at all. We call this “holding” your adjustment. Many of our patients come in, get checked, and walk out without needing an adjustment. Our ultimate goal is for your body to get stronger over time, and need less intervention from our doctors.
When atlas, the first bone in the neck, is misaligned it can put mechanical pressure on spinal nerves and blood vessels. An atlas misalignment can cause muscle spasms and inflammation to the head and neck. This can make a patient more likely to suffer from chronic headaches. Poor posture, text neck, poor ergonomics and even dehydration can all contribute to the frequency of headaches. The care you receive in our office is based on analysis of your unique x-rays.
Review Intouch ChiropracticBy Tawny Messerly I have had such an amazing experience since coming here. I suffered from headaches almost everyday for several years. I had sought out treatment in so many different forms. When I stopped by their booth I felt for the first time in a long time that they may have an answer for me. They did! I have been headache free since my first visit! I feel like a new person! I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this treasure. My sister, boyfriend and son are all now patients. I will one day get my mom in too. They always make me feel welcome and they care about each one of their patients and want each one to be a symbol of health. Their child care is impeccable too. Dr. Devin takes time to bond with my son and ensure his trust and comfort. My son looks forward to his visits and tells everyone how his scooter skills are enhanced from his visits.