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. Chiropractic for headaches includes a number of options like massage and physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic work that can help you manage your headaches.

woman suffering with headache

 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 work to determine what is causing your headaches and lead you in the right direction. We offer chiropractic adjustments for tension headaches and other types of head pain, including chiropractic for migraines.

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.

Where 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
  • Aneurysms
  • Concussions
  • Dehydration
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infections
  • Hangovers
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • 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:

Cervicogenic Headaches

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. These symptoms may not appear until the next morning.

man getting chiropractic adjustment

A chiropractor can diagnose a cervicogenic headache and determine what type of treatments and modalities are appropriate for you. Occasionally, diagnostic tools like an X-ray, MRI or CT scan may be required. Chiropractic for headaches treatment options can include chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy.

Occipital Neuralgia

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.

Tension Headaches

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. Symptoms also include dull throbbing head discomfort and pressure over the sides and back of your head. Tension headaches can last from a half-hour to several days in duration. Differentiating tension headaches from migraines can be challenging. Generally, unlike migraine sufferers, a patient suffering from a tension headache will not have visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light.

While prescription and over-the-counter drugs can relieve the symptoms of tension headaches by masking the pain, the most effective treatment is a nondrug and healthy habits approach. Chiropractic adjustments for tension headaches are a safe approach to treating the pain. Since there is general agreement that nerves and neurological disorders contribute to tension headaches and since your chiropractor is your health care professional trained to diagnose and remove neurologic interference from a misalignment of the spine, many tension headache sufferers have turned to their chiropractor in recent years for successful treatment. Chiropractic for headaches care, including acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage therapy, may also be utilized in treatment.

older man talking with chiropractor


Headaches Are No Match for the Best Chiropractors in Loveland Colorado

No matter what type of headache you have, chiropractors are ready to help. Our goal is to help you get back to your pain-free life as soon as possible. While you may be tempted to try to deal with the pain on your own by taking pills or massaging your scalp, the thumping and throbbing may keep returning. If you suffer from headaches, try our top Loveland chiropractic care to get you out of pain and living normally again. Scott Family Chiropractic will do everything they can to diagnose the root of your headache problem so you can get back to being yourself. It can be as simple as something like a pinched nerve causing your symptoms, so visit a chiropractor to get great care and adjustments.