Chronic headaches and migraines can severely interfere with your quality of life. And they can be difficult to manage. In some cases, you can stay on top of any triggers in the hope of lowering the frequency of your headaches or migraines but, often, the only real treatment is medications such as painkillers, and in the case of migraines, triptans and anti-emetics.
The problem is that if you use the highest strength of painkillers whenever you have a headache or migraine, it can lower their effectiveness dramatically, and you will have to deal with side effects. A chiropractor can help you to manage your headaches and migraines drug-free and with little-to-no side effects.
What causes headaches?
The pain of headaches is usually a result of changes in the nerves and blood vessels that cover your head. These changes can be triggered by a wide range of causes, such as:
- skipping meals
- problems with your eyesight
- bad posture
- menstruation and menopause
- illness, such as a cold
Sometimes it is impossible to know the exact cause of your headache, so it can be difficult to know how to avoid one reoccurring in the future.
What causes migraines?
Migraines are different from other types of headaches. We don’t know the exact cause, but they seem to be associated with abnormal brain activity that affects the chemicals, blood vessels, and nerve signals in your brain. There seems to be a genetic component to migraines but, like headaches, many people also find that they have certain triggers associated with them. These can include:
- hormone changes
- poor posture
- neck and shoulder tension
- low blood sugar
- skipping meals
- alcohol and caffeine
- certain foods
- bright lights
- smoking or being around smoking
- changes in climate
- strong smells
- and many more
How chiropractic care can help with headaches and migraines
A chiropractor will be able to help you to manage your headaches and migraines, and the evidence suggests that chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for both. A chiropractor will speak to you about your medical history, go through what you think your headache or migraine triggers may be, and conduct a physical examination to see if there are any physical issues that could be contributing to your condition.
There is a wide range of treatments that your chiropractor can use to help you reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches and migraines. These can include manipulation of your cervical spine if your spine is out of alignment and creating pressure on nerves, treatments to reduce the tension in your neck and shoulders, help with your posture, and treatments to help you relax. They can also help you with any lifestyle changes that could also reduce your headaches and migraines, including dietary and nutritional advice, exercises and stretches, sleep advice, and more.
Visiting a chiropractor if you have chronic headaches or migraines can help you take control of your condition. Your chiropractor will be able to treat any physical problems with your neck, spine, or shoulders that could be causing the pain, but they will also be able to help you manage your triggers and lifestyle to help reduce the chance of the pain coming back.