Manage Your Headaches With Quality Chiropractic Care
Even when they’re infrequent, a headache can really throw off your day. Whether you feel it in your head, neck, or face, a headache can distract you from work, family, and friends. But when you have recurring headaches, this dull pain can quickly grow out of control, impacting your quality of life.
Depending on the type of headache you’re experiencing, you might feel different forms of pain and discomfort. Fortunately, Scott Family Health offers a myriad of treatment modalities to help you address your headaches and pains. With options like massage and physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic work, we can help you manage your headaches.
Are You Experiencing The Symptoms Of A Headache?
- Mild to intense pain that affects the whole head, or shifts from one side of the head to the other.
- Increased sensitivity to light, noises, and smells.
- Vision impairments or distortions like flashing lights or wavy and jagged lines.
- Feeling dizzy, nauseous, or like you have an upset stomach
- Poor appetite.
- Feeling pale, clammy, or fatigued.
Recurring Headaches And Pain
Almost everyone has had a headache. Headaches are defined as any pain in the head, neck or face, however chronic headache sufferers will tell you, they just aren’t that simple. Headaches can vary from annoying to debilitating depending on the type of headache, and the causes. Diagnosis can be frustrating, as there are so many causes for headaches, and occasionally no clear cut cause is ever found.
Many people have headaches following trauma, and others have headaches that seem to occur for no reason. Due to the complex nature of headaches, it is important to determine where the headaches are coming from. Occasionally the headaches occur from tight muscles in the surrounding area like the neck and jaw, and sometimes there is a neurological reason.
Your Loveland chiropractors at Scott Family Health can help you determine what is causing your headaches, and lead you in the right direction.
Treatment may vary depending on the diagnosis. Treatment may include chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy. X-rays, other diagnostic tests or a referral to an outside provider may be necessary to determine the best care for your condition.
How Headaches Begin
One of the most frustrating parts of having a headache is that it can start in any part of your head, neck, or face. With time, this pain can “travel,” moving to another part of your upper body and head. Headaches may also develop in response to a number of different factors. In some cases, it’s as simple as an overuse injury, sinus congestion, or dehydration. In other cases, it’s as a result of something far more complicated, like migraines, tension headaches, or even chemical changes in your brain.
Primary Vs Secondary Headaches
When we discuss headaches, we break them down into two distinct categories — primary and secondary headaches.
When you have a primary headache, you’re experiencing pain related to the structures of your head. These headaches aren’t a symptom of an underlying illness or medical concern. A primary headache is simply your body’s response to the chemical activity that naturally occurs in your brain, the nerves and blood vessels in and around your skull, and the muscles in your head and neck. Typically, primary headaches are issues like cluster headaches, migraines, and tension headaches.
In some cases, your primary headache is caused by certain activities or lifestyle choices. This could include things like consuming alcohol, nitrate-rich foods, changes in sleep habits, poor posture, and stress.
Secondary headaches, however, are a symptom of an illness or disease that activate the pain nerves in your head, neck, and face. These can be triggered by a number of possible causes, and the resulting pain can vary in intensity from a dull aching sensation to severe pain.
Secondary headaches can be caused by medical concerns like:
- Sinus infections
- Blood clots
- Dental problems
- Ear infections
- High blood pressure
- Panic attacks and disorders
Whenever you’re experiencing a headache in response to another factor, it’s very likely a secondary headache.
How Headaches Begin
Possible diagnoses, and conditions treated at Scott Family Health:
This form of headache actually starts in your neck, and works its way up into your head. Your neck is made up of separate discs of bone called vertebrae. These vertebrae are connected by facet joints and discs. When you move your neck in certain ways or hold your head in a certain position for a long period of time, it strains the joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves in your neck. With too much stress, this can actually damage these tissues in your neck. The result is a seemingly constant ache at the base of your skull where your head meets your neck. It can also be felt behind the eyes or at the temples.
A cervicogenic headache is caused by excessive stress on the upper joints of the neck. This stress could be the result of something like whiplash or lifting a heavy object improperly, but more commonly it’s the result of repeated and prolonged activities. Poor posture, improper lifting and carrying techniques, bending or twisting the neck past the point of comfort, or any activity that requires the use of your arms in front of your body.
You’ll begin to notice the symptoms of a cervicogenic headache as soon as you injure your neck, or whenever you’re putting stress on the neck. You might also experience pain through the head and neck. In some cases, individuals may struggle to turn their head, or feel pins and needles, or a numbness in their upper back, shoulders, arms, and hands.
This term means “base of the head nerve pain” and is used to describe headache pains that start at the base of the skull. Occipital neuralgia can be caused by trauma, like a blow to the head or neck, a fall, or whiplash. It can also be caused by other things like spinal column compression, nerve lesions,or inflammation in the spine. The pain is caused by nerves becoming inflamed and sensitive after being trapped within the muscles of the neck. Muscle spasms in your neck, and the resulting pain, are caused by nerve entrapment. These headaches can also be triggered by excessive stress.
Those with occipital neuralgia experience pain that radiates from the back of the head to the front, from side to side, and can even be felt behind the eyes. Generally, the headache will move in a pattern from one side of the head to the other in an arcing motion. You might experience pain on just one side of your head, or on both sides at the same time.
This is likely the most common type of headache and is often described as a pain that wraps around the top of the neck and to the top of the head. Those who get tension headaches describe the pain as mild to moderate. The precise cause of tension headaches isn’t known, but they are likely caused by the nerves and chemicals in your brain. There are a variety of triggers for a tension headache including a misaligned spine, whiplash, disc degeneration, poor posture, a lack of sleep, and poor nutrition.
A tension headache can extend to the neck and shoulders, causing these muscle groups to feel stiff or tense. You might experience a dull throbbing pain in your head and pressure on the sides and back of your head. A tension headache can unfortunately last for a long period of time, anywhere from 30 minutes to several days.