Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches and they are the cause of the loss of approximately 250 million working days each year. Because headaches are so common, some people think that getting a headache is just a normal part of life! Headaches actually indicate that something is wrong within your body. The cause may be something as simple as stress or dehydration, or could be as severe as a brain tumor. Headaches have triggers that produce the onset of pain. Approximately five percent of headaches are warning signals of physical ailments such as hypertensive crisis. The other 95 percent are not caused by disea , but are the primary concern. These headaches include tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches.
A frequent and overlooked cause of headaches is the malfunction of spinal bones in the neck and upper back.When bones of the spine lose their normal position or motion, sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head can be affected. When spinal nerves and related tissues are overstretched or irritated, they can produce throbbing headaches. Aspirin and other pain medications may cover up these warning signs, but do not correct the underlying structural cause.
To prevent headaches, there are several things you can do:
- Drink plenty of water!
- Get a good night’s rest
- If you spend a large amount of time in a fixed position, such as driving or sitting in front of a computer or sewing machine, take a break to stretch every hour. Stretches should move your head and neck through full range of motion
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid clenching your teeth. Your upper teeth should never make contact with bottom teeth unless you are chewing or swallowing. Be mindful of stress-induced grinding.
To treat a headache yourself, stretching, hydration, and over the counter pain medication may help relieve symptoms, but do not solve the underlying problem. The pain medication industry is one of the largest markets in the United States. Although medications can relieve headaches, they can also cause damage to your kidneys, intestines, or liver.
If you suffer chronic, persistent, debilitating headaches, your healthcare provider may order an MRI or CT scan of your brain or and spine to rule out any physical causes. Blood tests may be done to rule out disease as a contributing factor, and vital signs may be monitored. Treatment will vary dependent on what tests reveal.
Many people experience correction and relief through the care found at the Injury Center of the Glades. If a thorough examination reveals a reduced range of motion, loss of normal spinal curves or mechanical restriction, chiropractic care should be considered. After Dr. Cohen conducts a complete examination, you’ll receive a treatment program designed for your unique spinal problem. Specific chiropractic treatments can help correct spinal joint dysfunction created by the various chemical, emotional, and physical stresses in our lives. Many patients report headache relief. Others find that the correction of their condition takes longer because their spinal problem has existed, undetected, for many years. Every patient responds differently.