Headaches are common, yet they are not normal. Yet they are a regular part of life for many Americans, and as a nation we spend billions of dollars each year on prescription and over-the counter medication for headache relief. Unfortunately the drugs can have harmful side effects that are worse than the headaches themselves! For example, NSAID’s a type of medication that includes brands like Advil, Motrin, and Excedrin have side effects like stomach bleeding, ulcers, liver failure, and even headache!
In addition, even if you are able to escape the side effects, the drugs are simply covering up the symptoms, and not addressing the cause. At Relief Plus Chiropractic we focus on finding the cause of the problem, and every headache has a cause.
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches are a symptom that something is wrong. Factors contributing to headaches are varied. Muscle tension, high blood pressure, hormonal changes, sinus infections, and/or blood sugar changes are just some of the potential factors that can contribute to headaches.
Some doctors may order expansive testing such as CT scans or MRI. However, this type of testing isn’t always effective as it has been reported that only one in 11,200 patients with headaches have a problem that shows up on MRI or CT scan.
Easing Headache Pain DrugFREE
Try these simple methods for reducing discomfort temporarily:
- Get regular massages, especially in the upper back and neck.
- Apply an ice pack to the area of pain.
- Use a heating pad on the shoulders and upper back to help ease muscle tension.
- Reduce Stress
- Soak a towel in water, roll it up and stick it in the freezer. Use the towel to support the neck as you lie down to rest for 5-20 minutes.
- Maintain a peaceful environment avoiding loud noises and bright lights
How do I Prevent a Headache?
- Workout on a regular basis to maintain flexibility and stimulate circulation to the head.
- Sleep on your back or side, but avoid sleeping on your stomach. A cervical pillow is best for supporting the head and neck curvature.
- Don’t smoke
- Use good posture to help with good alignment of the vertebrae in the neck and upper back.
- Find time to unwind with meditation or going on a walk.
Chiropractic for Headaches
Chiropractic addresses the cause of the problem by working with the nervous system. The brain and nervous system control and coordinate all other body systems. If there is an area of the spine that has lost function, the spinal nerves are irritated creating interferences with the communication that occurs between the brain and the body. Regular chiropractic adjustments positively affects the transmission of the nerves and the body’s ability to heal itself.
A major study done in 1995 compared drug therapy to chiropractic care in the treatment of headaches. It found 82 percent of patients who were given drug therapy experienced side effects such as drowsiness, weight gain, dry mouth, and heart-related problems. Those who received chiropractic care experienced NO SIDE EFFECTS. Furthermore, it found that after four weeks of treatment, patients who had used the drugs began having headaches again while those in the chiropractic group continued to have headache relief as well as higher levels of energy!
If the tiny bones in your neck are not supporting your head properly, it can affect your muscles, nerves, and even blood supply to the brain. Chiropractic for headaches is not treated like an aspirin. Repeated visits, even when you feel better will help retrain and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. If you know anyone who suffers from headaches, let them know they can be drug free and that chiropractic can help! They will thank you!