Tension headaches are the most commonly reported type of headache. These painful episodes stem from common nerve disorders that can be treated with chiropractic care.
Chiropractors are trained to identify underlying issues contributing to headache management, like misalignments, poor posture, stress, and other triggers. Their treatments include spinal manipulation, soft tissue techniques, and prescriptive neck exercises.
Increased Blood Flow
About 40% of individuals get headaches, making it one of the most prevalent health issues. Most individuals treat headache discomfort with over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, but these drugs are inefficient and have serious adverse effects.
To relieve tension headaches, chiropractors employ manual therapy such as spinal manipulation. A sudden force is applied to a joint during a chiropractic adjustment, pushing it beyond its usual range of motion. This relieves strain on the joints and enhances circulation in the region by making a popping or cracking sound.
In addition to spinal manipulation, a chiropractor can recommend daily exercises to strengthen neck and back muscles and relieve discomfort. They may suggest stretches for the neck and shoulders or advice on improving posture when standing, sleeping, and sitting at a desk. They can even give tips for avoiding the common triggers of headaches, such as teeth clenching and dehydration.
Released Trapped Nerves
Several studies convey that specific manual adjustments by a chiropractor can effectively treat tension headaches, especially those that seem to derive from the neck.
The tight structures in your neck are there for a reason, not just because of stress. They’re trying to balance a 10-pound head on the small upper cervical vertebrae, which can be hard work.
Your tension headaches may have underlying reasons, which chiropractors are equipped to identify. They can determine the disease based on symptoms, including sensitivity to light and visual problems, restricted neck motion, and tight muscles in the head and neck. Additionally, they can treat your headaches with cranial and spinal treatments that enhance the health of these muscles and tissues. During a chiropractic adjustment, you can even hear or feel something pop or crack as when you crack your knuckles! This is brought on by synovial fluid, a fluid-filled pocket in your joints that releases gases.
Reduced Muscle Tension
Muscle tension in the neck and scalp significantly contributes to tension headaches. These muscular spasms can happen at any age due to stress, sadness, a concussion, or worry. They are also typical among those who work in repetitive tasks involving the hands, arms, or head, such as typing, operating a vehicle, or using a microscope.
When muscles are tense, they release chemicals that trigger pain receptors in the brain. The result is a dull, pressure-like headache and not throbbing. Often, the pain is on both sides of the head and may feel worse in your temples or the back of your neck and shoulders.
Chiropractors use several techniques to relax muscle tension. They can also provide exercises, posture tips, and other home treatment strategies to keep your spine healthy and avoid tension headaches. You can learn to recognize when your neck and shoulder muscles are tense and practice relaxing them before they cause a headache.
Headaches are a common problem, and most people have experienced them at some point. They are usually caused by physical tension along the spine or mental stress and can range from mild to debilitating.
While it may not cure all types of headaches, chiropractic care can be an effective treatment, especially those caused by musculoskeletal problems in the neck and head area, such as tension headaches. These are characterized by a constant dull or aching feeling on one or both sides of the head and may feel like a tight band or a pulsing sensation.
The most effective treatment for this type of headache involves manual therapy to the neck and upper back region, including manipulation of the junction between the cervical and thoracic spine. Other treatments that can help with tension headaches include acupuncture, which uses needles to address points thought to trigger these headaches in the body.