Headaches in short are a continuous pain around the head, face or neck, they can occur in any part of the head, on both sides of the head or in just one location. They are one of the most common medical complaints and can have a disabling effect on a day to day basis like quality of sleep, mood and overall function of the body.
PRIMARY VS SECONDARY HEADACHES
Headaches are broadly categorised as either primary or secondary. A primary headache is when the headaches are not caused by another condition or disease. The two most common primary headaches are migraines and tension type headaches. A secondary headache is caused by problems elsewhere in the head or neck, or by a condition. The two most common secondary headaches are cervicogenic and medication overuse headaches.
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO YOUR HEADACHE
Tension type headaches, migraines and cervicogenic headaches like many pain issues we are challenged with, are what we call 'multi-factorial'. We as Chiropractors, like the bio - psycho - social construct when approaching patient care and this encapsulates headaches we see in the clinic every week very well. But what does this actually mean?
Well in terms of headaches (and all pain) it means that lots of things contribute to the pain you are experiencing. One analogy could be the overflowing 'tea cup'.
If we think of your headaches as the overfilling of a tea cup (stick with me here) then everything in your life tipped into the tea cup could be a contributor.
Things such as: stress, dietary factors, sleep quality, exercise habits, hormones, genetics, medications, biomechanical skeletal factors and many more. Sometimes the triggers can be very hard to pin down because the thing that tips you over the edge can be different at different times and the last thing to make the cup overflow…… and then boof - headache.
DRUGS AND HEADACHES
There is significant dissatisfaction with headache drug outcomes and the side effects that come with taking these drugs and headaches are the third most common reason for why people seek help from chiropractors. We are a drug free alternative for headache sufferers.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
So how can chiropractic care actually help with headaches?
Assessment of posture, muscle tone, functional movement patterns and how the spine and extremities are moving while taking into account work, hobbies and other daily activities are important factors for the possible causes of the headache. After this, appropriate treatment, lifestyle changes and patient education is needed. Treatment can include:
Simple management plans that you can implement straight away include:
If you suffer from headaches on a regular basis or general neck pain, I highly recommend visiting a health professional. If you are local to the Loftus area, health associates would be more than happy to help you with these issues and take a holistic assessment and approach to taking control of your life.
Monday 8am - 6pm
Wednesday - 8am - 6pm
Saturday - 8am - 12pm