Headaches & migraines

Headaches and migraines seem to be a common occurrence, but is brings up the question why are they there? There are many types of headaches that can effect an individual. We will focus on the most common one that may be helped with Chiropractic care. Tension and cervicogenic headaches are the most common followed by migraine headaches.


Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches originate from the neck, shoulders and spine where the increased tension through these areas often result in a headache. They are typically one sided, intense, non-throbbing headache that can cause nausea and vomiting if severe enough. It can feel like the pain is behind one eye ball. No visual disturbance or neurological signs are present. They most commonly involve pain and discomfort in the upper neck and can often be described as pain that started in the upper neck.


Tension Headache

The tension headache usually presents as a generalised headache characterised as a dull tightness around the scalp. Tension headaches can affect concentration, mood and can sometimes cause nausea. The jaw can also be involved as it is often caused by clenching or grinding because of stress, jaw injury or misalignment.


Migraine Headache

Usually an intense headache on one side that can involve nausea, vomiting and visual disturbance. Some migraines begin with visual disturbance like partial blind spots or squiggly lines in the visual field with the headache beginning after about 20 minutes. It has a throbbing pulsating nature. Due to its severity and the other symptoms the migraine patient cannot function and is usually bedridden.


How we can help?

Depending on the type of headache you have, your chiropractor will determine the course and method of treatment. Providing that the headache has not arisen due to a serious medical reason treatment usually begins. Chiropractors are highly educated in differentiating the different types of headaches, and if there are signs of an underlying serious medical condition they will refer you to a specialised medical professional. Usually the chiropractor will be able to reproduce the aches and sometimes the headache feeling especially upon palpation in the neck, head and shoulder region. All spinal related headaches will involve treatment via adjustments to the areas of spinal misalignment, taking particular interest in the cervical spine. The region usually involved is the upper cervical region. In tension related headaches the TMJ (or jaw) is often involved due to stress, our chiropractors are also trained to assess this joint and provide adjustments if needed. With migraines there can also be dietary factors as well as hormone factors that will be addressed sometimes, and in some cases co-management with other health professionals will be recommended.

To discuss your headaches and to arrange an appointment for treatment please do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment to get you back to your best.

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