If you or someone you know are among the 7 million Australians who suffer from tension headaches or the 4.9 million who suffer from migraine causing lost social activity, concentration and work capacity; chiropractic care can provide effective, drug-free pain relief to headache and migraine sufferers.
Migraine and tension headaches are the most common headache disorders, both with disabling potential. With more Australians suffering from migraine or tension headaches than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined; the cost to the Australian economy is around $35.7 billion annually.
However, the real cost to headache sufferers is immeasurable. The impact headaches have on their quality of life can greatly limit productivity at work and study, and rob sufferers of essential relaxation, social activities and precious time with children, family and friends.
There are many causes of headaches but studies have shown some of the most common causes are stress and spinal health conditions. A wide range of activities that can cause spinal health conditions that lead to headaches include sports and exercise; poor posture (at work and home); physical activities (dancing, cycling, shopping, driving, gym, etc.); eye strain (including excessive screen time); dehydration; caffeine dependence and withdrawal; smoking and bright or noisy environments.
The three main types of headaches are tension and cervicogenic (neck related) headaches and migraines.
Tension headaches are the most common form of headache causing mild to moderate pain. Described as a ‘hat band’ tightness around the forehead, temples and back of the head, tension headaches are often triggered by stress or fatigue. However, chronic tension headaches (those that persist for a long period of time or constantly recur), can be caused by ongoing stress and fatigue as well as physical and psychological or emotional health conditions. Chiropractic care provides an effective, reliable drug-free treatment for tension headaches and minimises reoccurrence.
Cervicogenic (neck related) headaches are due to a disorder of the top of the spine involving the bones, joints, muscles or ligaments in that area. Cervicogenic headache pain starts at the neck and can spread to the eyes, forehead, and temples. Pain is moderate to severe but not excruciating or throbbing. Cervicogenic headache is often associated with mild to moderate dizziness/light-headedness/unsteadiness. Studies confirm drug-free chiropractic care is more effective in treating cervicogenic headaches than mobilisation or exercise alone.
Migraines are a chronic and disabling condition that often begins with a dull headache and develops into a constant, throbbing and pulsating pain at the temples and the front or back of the head. Sufferers can also experience nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.
Migraines can be a complex and varied disorder with a range of severity, types and symptoms. 20% of migraines are ‘Classic’ migraines (with Aura) and 80% are ‘Common’ migraines (without Aura). An Aura is an important symptom that typically precedes the headache. Sufferers may also experience blurred vision, blind spots, and pins and needles in the face, hands, or arms.
Although migraines are often under-diagnosed and under-treated, chiropractors can help diagnose migraine and provide drug-free care that’s been shown to decrease migraine duration and severity.
Headaches and migraines can be debilitating and impact every aspect of our lives. But we don’t need to allow the pain of headaches to hold us back. Chiropractors can effectively diagnose and manage headache and migraine symptoms with a drug-free, “healing-hands” approach to spinal healthcare.