The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that at least 14 percent of patients who visit chiropractors are seeking treatment for their headaches as their primary concern.
For people who think chiropractic care is only for patients with bad backs, this may be surprising. However, chiropractic care has been proven to effectively alleviate pain secondary to tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck (cervicogenic).
If you are experiencing headaches, you are not alone. Statistics show that the lifetime prevalence rate of people experiencing significant headaches in Singapore is more than 82%. Annual productivity loss from these headaches is estimated to exceed $1 billion dollars annually! Some people experience headaches frequently, while others are more occasional. The quality of headaches can range from throbbing and dull to sharp and stabbing, while others cause nausea and debilitating pain.
If you wake up with a throbbing headache, what do you do to try and get rid of it? Do you lie down and rest? Do you pop a pill and hope it goes away? You’d be delighted to know you actually have much better alternatives.
Many people that come to visit us for other concerns may often note that they just have “normal headaches”, almost as a side thought. That is, they experience headaches of a mild, yet persistent nature so often that they think it is normal for everyone to have them. It is not normal, and often they are a sign that your body needs attention.
Research shows that spinal manipulation—one of the primary treatments doctors of chiropractic are trained to perform—has proven to be effective against tension headaches and those headaches that originate in the neck.
A 2014 report published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) indicated that chiropractic interventions improved outcomes for the treatment of migraines and cervicogenic headaches. Increased benefit was also exhibited in several instances where a multimodal approach to the neck was employed. This means that sometimes our doctors of chiropractic may also employ other therapies and/or lifestyle advice to help you overcome your headaches.
The majority of primary headaches experienced by patients are linked to muscle tension and poor joint mechanics in the neck. When you lead a sedentary lifestyle and spend many hours in a fixed position (i.e. sitting in front of a computer or on your handphone), you are more prone to joint irritation and muscle tension in the scalp, upper back, and neck, which can lead to nerve irritation and headaches.
Doctors of chiropractic have extensive training in anatomy, physiology and diagnosis, that goes well beyond treatment of back pain. They are equipped to fully understand how tension in the spine and surrounding tissues can cause problems in other parts of the body, and they can provide treatment and lifestyle advice to effectively relieve those problems.
If you are suffering from migraines or headaches, our chiropractors may perform the following to treat your headache:
- Perform chiropractic adjustments using our signature Functional Correction Method (FCM) to alleviate the stress on your system and improve spinal function.
- Utilise adjunctive modalities to help with muscle relaxation and reducing inflammation which may be affecting your nerves and soft tissues.
- Advice on exercises, relaxation techniques, posture, and ergonomics may also be given.
Suffice it to say if you are suffering from regular migraines or headaches, our well-trained chiropractors can help you feel better and teach you how to stay that way!
Author: Dr. Michael Bryant