Next to lower back pain, headaches might just be the most common health complaint of American adults. Chronic headaches, especially migraines, can literally take over your life. In many cases, however, therapies like chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and lifestyle changes can make a world of difference. Dr. Mickey Frame at Frame Chiropractic & Acupuncture in Toledo, Ohio, wants you to know these things about headaches.
Headaches occur for a variety of reasons and can affect any part of the head. The location and quality of the pain can be an indication of the cause. For example, a headache in the frontal (forehead) area that runs across the top of the skull can be caused by muscle tension. A headache at the base of the skull could mean the neck is out of alignment. Influenza, colds, sinus infections, allergies, and visual problems can all result in headaches. Other headache causes include poor posture, visual problems, and temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). You can have more than one type of headache.
Migraines do cause pain in the head, but they are actually a neurological problem. Most migraines occur on one side and may be accompanied by flashing lights, sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. The pain is usually an intense throbbing sensation. Severe migraines may even be accompanied by neurological symptoms like slurred speech, visual changes, or temporary paralysis. Women are much more likely to have migraines, especially after puberty, which indicates a hormonal influence. A migraine can also be triggered by scents, bright sunlight, barometric changes, stress, and certain foods.
The first step in chiropractic care is a thorough assessment. Since posture is often involved in headaches – the adult head weighs about 11 pounds, a lot of weight for your neck muscles – the chiropractor will evaluate how you stand, sit, and move. Your chiropractor may ask you to keep a headache diary, detailing your symptoms, time of the attack, foods you've eaten, or stress levels. A physical examination helps identify tight muscles or misalignment. After the examination is complete, Dr. Mickey Frame will recommend various treatments, such as chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture. Lifestyle changes and nutrition may also play a role in headache recovery, especially for migraine.