September 12 to 16 marks Headache and Migraine Awareness Week- Dr Gabie answers common questions about what can be a debilitating condition.
What are Headaches and Migraines?
90% of all headaches are primary headaches, appearing between the ages 20-40 years, with the most common types being migraines and tension-type headaches.
Tension headaches, usually present with a dull tightness around the scalp, impacting on concentration and mood. The jaw may also be involved due to clenching and grinding from stress causing jaw injury and misalignment. A migraine is usually an intense one sided headaches that can involve nausea, vomiting and visual changes which pulsates and throbs in nature leading to debilitating pain and may lead to difficulty tolerating light and noise. Cervicogenic headaches is a secondary type headache, which originate in the neck, shoulders and spine which are one sided intense non throbbing and sometimes feels like pain is behind one eyeball. These are all frequently encountered in chiropractic clinics and resolved quite successfully through chiropractic management.
Why do people get headaches?
Headaches have many causes or triggers, including foods, environmental stimulus, insomnia, exercise, medications. 95% of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension and migraines, which are often associated with muscle tension in the neck. In today’s society we are becoming more and more sedentary, with more hours spent in fixed postures, leading to joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck and upper back causing the head to ache.
What can you do manage and treat your headaches?
Depending on the type of headache you have, will depend on the best course of treatment and management.
At Simply Health and Wellness, our chiropractors use a variety of techniques, including adjustments, low force techniques, mobilisations and some soft tissue working to get you back to your health goals. According to the journal of Manipulative therapy “Cervical spine manipulation was associated with significant improvement in headache outcomes in trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache.” (1)
Some patients will experience results quiet quickly, sometimes immediately, however others notice a slow decline in frequency and severity of weeks and months, while those who have been chronic sufferers of headaches for many years can take longer.
Repeated visits, even when you’re feeling better can help to retrain and strengthen muscles that support the spine. Just as it takes more than one visit to the gym to get in shape, it takes time for your spine to heal and strengthen.
For more information on headaches or migraines and how we can help or to book an appointment to see our chiropractors please phone the clinic on (02) 9651 5559
Some tips to help prevent headaches:
- Maintain good posture to help reduce misalignments of the joints in the spine
- Avoid situations of pressure and tension that can trigger a headache. If you can’t avoid the pressure, learn ways to cope with it more effectively.
- Find time to take periods to rest and relax, meditate, take a walk or simply close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Exercise regularly to stimulate the circulation of blood to the head and throughout the body.
- Get enough sleep & drink plenty of water
- McCrory, Penzlen, Hasselblad, Gray (2001), Duke Evidence Report