01/12/2016 by GOLDI JACQUES-MAYNES
Different Treatments for Different Headaches
Did you know there are several types of headache?
Most of us feel some headache pain, and pop a pill to make that pain go away. But have you ever thought about the cause of your headaches, and considered treating the cause, not just the symptoms?
Headaches are often related to your spine and your posture, but not always. In fact, there are several kinds of headache, and they have varying causes and treatments.
Cervicogenic headaches come from neck dysfunction.
A cervicogenic headache is a headache that often presents around the base of your skull, around and behind your eye, or in a "question mark" pattern around your ear and side of your head.
This is due to neck dysfunction that sends pain up your spine causing a headache. Cervicogenic headaches often result from —
- Trigger points in the shoulders and neck that refer pain to the head.
- Restricted vertebral joints, especially in the upper cervical spine.
Chiropractic therapies that work with cervicogenic headaches —
- Trigger point release in the neck and shoulders
- Adjustments to the restricted joints
- Essential oils & CBD cream
- Muscle stimulation
Tension headaches come from stress.
This headache feels like a constant ache or pressure around your head. Most often you feel pain at your temples, or the back of your head, and the back of your neck. Some patients feel a "headband" distribution of pain with tension headaches.
Tension headaches come from the contraction of your neck and your scalp muscles when you respond to stress. The pain is mild to moderate, and may come and go over a prolonged period of time.
Chiropractic therapies that work with tension headaches —
- Soft tissue work on suboccipital, occipital, and temporal muscles
- Adjustment of upper cervical spine
- Essential oils & CBD cream
Migraine headaches are caused by triggers unique to you.
It could be salty processed food, or it could be a hormonal shift. Sometimes even skipping a meal can bring on a migraine. Migraine pain is moderate to severe — often described as pounding, throbbing pain, usually on one side of your head.
These headaches can last from four hours to three days, usually occurring one to four times per month.
Migraines can come with other symptoms like —
- sensitivity to light, noise, or odors
- nausea or vomiting
- loss of appetite
- stomach upset or abdominal pain
In the case of migraines, we'd discuss possible treatment plans, including learning to identify and manage your triggers for less migraine frequency.
Rebound headaches mean too much OTC and pain meds.
Overuse of painkillers for your headaches can actually lead to more headaches — called rebound headaches.
Over-the-counter medications like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and prescription drugs can all increase your odds.
We also see rebound headaches with folks who have been using prescribed pain meds to manage chronic pain, or who have recently been using pain meds post-accident or post-surgery.
Don't overuse pain meds! Come see us to develop a pain treatment plan that manages your pain with less medication.
Cluster headaches come in groups.
These are headaches that occur in a grouping of attacks. Cluster headaches are the least common type, but also the most painful of the headaches. Cluster headaches appear suddenly, giving you severe, debilitating pain on one side of your head.
Cluster headaches come from a problem with a nerve that passes through your spine. Since chiropractors deal with the spine, chiropractic can be the best treatment.
Other treatments can be more invasive, like corticosteroids, migraine medications, injections of numbing agents, bipolar medications, seizure prevention medications, and local anesthetics.
We truly beleive those suffering from cluster headaches should try chiropractic first as a safe and non-invasive approach.
No matter the type of headache, non-pharmaceutical approaches can help.
Chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy can help prevent headache recurrence. Want to diminish the intensity, and shorten the length of your headaches? We can help you figure out your type of headache, and make a treatment plan that works to keep your headaches away.