Headaches are one of the most common pains experienced by a lot of people globally. They can range from mild, throbbing to severe pains. They can also occur at different parts of your head; the front, left, right, or back.
Some of the headaches can go away within a short time, while others can last for days. There are different causes of headaches, and all have different effects. Some of the most common causes include;
• Too much noise or light.
• Lack of enough sleep.
• Trauma to the head.
There are different types of headaches, and each has a different effect and occurs at different parts of the head.
Tension headaches- These are the most common types of headaches and are mainly caused by stress. They cause a dull aching sensation all over the head. You might also experience sensitivity or tenderness around the scalp, neck, shoulder muscles, or forehead.
Migraines- Although they are not as common as tension headaches, they affect quite a lot of people and can last for days. It causes intense pulsing from deep within the head.
They are throbbing and are usually felt mainly on one side of the head. Since they are so intense, they may limit you from carrying on with your daily activities. They are accompanied by sensitivity to sound and light plus nausea.
Cervicogenic headache- These are mainly caused by pressure to the neck, and the pain can be felt in one or several areas of your head or face.
There are different ways that headaches can be treated, the main one being using over-the-counter painkillers. However, chiropractic services have also been seen to help in alleviating the pains.
Chiropractors are the spine, nerve system, and muscle experts who are trained to diagnose the underlying causes of frequent headaches. They perform thorough examinations and history checks to determine what may be causing your headaches.
Depending on the type of headache and its causes, they use different methods to help relieve the pain.
1. Soft tissue mobilization
This type of manual therapy involves the chiropractor using their hands on your ligaments, muscles, and fascia. That is done to help optimize muscle function, decrease pain in strained muscles and ligaments, and reduce and breakdown adhesions.
Soft tissue mobilization is usually most useful for posture-related headaches. Those are the types of headaches that are caused when you have your body in one position for long, for example, using the computer or phone for long.
That causes the ‘misuse’ of some muscles, which then become cramped, and the nerve around them sends a message of pain to the brain. That message of pain is interpreted as a headache.
Soft tissue mobilization is used to release muscle tension on the affected muscles, hence relieving the headache. It can also be used to treat cervicogenic headaches.
2. Spinal manipulation
This type of treatment involves the chiropractor using their hands to apply controlled pressure to a certain point of your spine. This is mostly done in the cervical spine, which is found in the neck and helps relieve cervicogenic headaches.
3. Joint mobilization
This is a type of manual therapy where the chiropractor passively moves the joints that are causing the headache to relieve the pain. This is mainly helpful in treating posture-related and cervicogenic headaches. It can also be used for migraines.
4. Neuromuscular massage
Also called trigger point therapy, this type of massage is focused on trigger points within your shoulders, back, neck, and head.
It helps to relax the muscles and increase blood flow to the head. It can also be used to relieve stress, one of the major causes of headaches. This is mainly used to help with migraines.
5. Lifestyle changes
Some lifestyle behaviors like listening to loud music, staring at bright light sources like computers and phones for long, and eating some foods may increase the occurrence and severity of headaches.
Chiropractors can help you get rid of those habits and replace them with more healthy ones.