Chiropractic for headaches and migraines
Causes and treatment of headaches with chiropractic
Research shows that chiropractic care can have a significant impact on the frequency and severity of headaches.
Migraines and headaches are often associated with problems related to posture, movement of the cervical (neck) joints, and tension in the muscles and fascia. The first two cervical vertebrae often play a crucial role in tension headaches because this area is full of small and key muscles, nerves and arteries.
A blockage or dysfunction in the movement of these two joints can affect all surrounding structures and can lead to pain radiating from the neck to different parts of the head, as well as jaw pain, tinnitus or even dizziness.
Chiropractic helps by correcting blockages in the neck joints, improving the way you move and your overall posture. This leads to a reduction in muscle and fascia tension, improved movement, mobility, and reduced pain.
The effect of posture on headaches and neck pain
Inadequate posture is an issue very often linked with an increase in the frequency and severity of headaches, but also other complaints such as neck and shoulder pain. Working at the computer, slouching, writing, talking on the phone are all activities that many of us do daily, and which bring our body’s center of gravity forward.
When our posture is correct, our head remains balanced on top of our shoulders, where minimal muscle work is required. When the head is brought forward even slightly, the pressure on the muscles at the back of the neck and in the upper back is quickly doubled, tripled and even quadrupled. The result is that the muscles become overloaded and the joints become stuck, creating areas of tension and pain.
Stress as a trigger for headaches
Stress, whether mental or physical, is often a major contributing factor to headaches. Stress in itself is not what creates or worsens headaches, how our bodies react and deal with stress does.
It can lead to an increase in blood pressure, which can be a trigger, but on the other hand, it leads to a marked change in body posture. When we are stressed, our body feels threatened. Our shoulders tighten, our neck locks up and our back muscles become stiff. This can lead to an exacerbation of pre-existing postural problems and stiffness, pain or imbalances that are already present, it can reinforce them or even create new ones.
How can chiropractic help with headaches?
Chiropractors can correct the cause of the problem by restoring motion to the neck joints, relaxing tight muscles and prescribing exercises to strengthen muscles that are too weak.
The chiropractor will also help you examine your daily habits, your posture, how you work and sleep, and how your desk is set up.
All 4 aspects need to be corrected to improve in the long run:
Issues with the movement of joints, in the spine, pelvis and the rest of the skeletal system are correct through chiropractic adjustments. The number of treatments needed is determined by how severe the imbalances in your posture are, and how quick your body can improve and adapt
The chiropractor will prescribe specific exercises to strengthen the major postural muscles, this helps relieve stress on the joints
Treatments will also focus on relaxing tight muscles, exercises at home will also sometimes be recommended to further relax and loosen them
The chiropractor can also talk about your postural habits and make recommendations to reduce the stress on your muscles and joints
Do you suffer from headaches, migraines or neck pain yourself or do you know someone who does? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question or to make an appointment!