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The body's warning alarm Unlike most medications, chiropractic care does not simply address the symptoms of headaches, but is directed to locating and alleviating the contributing factors that lead to many types of headache pain.
Doctors of chiropractic recognize that a headache is the body's warning alarm that pain may also be attributed to muscle tension and irritation of the nerves and blood vessels in the neck. The seven cervical vertebrae (spinal bones) can become misaligned from excessive physical and emotional stress. This misalignment can irritate the nerve roots in the neck and may even cause minor constriction in some vessels, which supply blood to the brain. When this happens, a headache can strike. And it can continue to strike again and again unless the condition is properly corrected.
While most people seek temporary relief from headaches with drugs and medications, an increasing number of people are getting smart about headache relief and visiting their doctor of chiropractic for help.
Types of headaches
Tension headaches, also known as muscle contraction headaches, are often caused by tension in the muscles and scalp at the back of the neck in response to stress. They account for 90 percent of the head pain people experience.
Environmental or behavioral Headaches can be caused by factors such as caffeine withdrawal, eyestrain, poor posture, and hunger. These types of headaches can be prevented by behavioral changes such as checking eyewear prescriptions periodically or making sure your work environment is comfortable.
A third type of headache is migraine. The exact cause of migraines is not known; however, the most popular theory relates the symptoms to changes in arteries near the surface of the brain. Many migraine headaches are preceded by warning signs such as nausea, flashing lights, and dizziness and the sufferer may be uncomfortable in the presence of bright lights and loud noises.
Beyond the symptoms
A doctor of chiropractic is primarily concerned with helping correct any neuromusculoskeletal (nerves, muscles and bones) source of your headache. The doctor may perform a spinal examination to determine whether your headache pain may be attributed to misaligned vertebrae in the neck. By adjusting misaligned vertebrae in the spine and neck area, chiropractors can ease irritation to nerves and muscle tension that frequently can trigger or aggravate headache pain.
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