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woman with headache grabbing head

What can cause a headache?

Headaches can be caused by a number of factors and majority of the time are stemming from the neck. These headaches are usually caused by the muscle and joints in the neck. Sometimes they stem from jaw (TMJ) or as a result of a vascular and or hormonal cause. Misalignment or dysfunction of the neck can cause stress to the nerves, which in turn affect blood flow.

When the joints in the neck lose their normal position or motion (“chiropractic subluxation” or misalignment), the sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head can become compromised. When these delicate tissues are irritated, they can produce certain types of headaches or pain radiating into the face and eyes.

These headaches can make it difficult to think clearly and function. While aspirin or other medications may cover up the symptoms, they do not really correct the long term cause of a mechanical dysfunction in the neck causing a headache.

Many different factors can trigger such misalignment such as auto accidents (“whiplash”), bad posture over time, stress, sudden injury to the jaw, head or neck area, food reaction (food allergies), medication side effects or even sinus problems.

What are the different types of headaches?

Most headaches are name as tension-type, migraine or cervicogenic (“from the neck”).

By far, most people get tension-type headaches and get them frequently. They typically suffer mild to moderate pain, both sides of the head that is often described as stiff, tight, constricting – like having a tight band wrapped around your head squeezing.

Migraines are periodic severe, throbbing headaches that afflict far fewer people (more women than men), usually hurt on one side of the head, can cause loss of appetite, nausea and even vomiting, and may involve a vision aura (change) before or during the attack.

Cervicogenic headache is a musculoskeletal form of tension-type headache (which may also be related to migraines). Many times, cervicogenic headache diagnoses are missed because the neck has evaluated and related to the headache.

Other types of headaches can come from tumors, infections, strokes, or other disease process.

How Can Chiropractic Care help?

Chiropractic care through studies has shown to be as safe and effective in reducing the severity and frequency of headaches without the side effects of medication. This is why many people have found relief from headaches through chiropractic care.

Chiropractic treatment involves gentle low-force techniques and therapy to help reduce the pain and inflammation to the area, as well as help restore proper joint alignment and posture to help the healing cycle.