Even if you’re one of the fortunate few who manages to avoid back and neck pain, you likely get headaches now and then. Ninety percent of Americans describe experiencing headaches ranging from mild to debilitating. Ouch. But besides prayers and pills, is there another solution? Yes.
Here’s how chiropractic care can help your headaches.
Chiropractors use what’s called spinal manipulation therapy, or SMT, and studies support the efficacy of this type of care on headaches, and particularly on tension headaches that begin in the neck. Spinal manipulation can be done by hand or instrument. There are many ways to safely and gently move the bones to take pressure off their nerves and muscles.
A study conducted in 2001 revealed that SMT offered almost instant relief on tension headaches, with drastically reduced side effects and improved results over pain medications. A separate study focusing on the frequency of headaches after SMT treatment ended revealed that those who had received the treatment enjoyed its benefits for weeks and even months, while patients in the medication treatment group experienced the return of headaches following discontinued treatment.
So what’s the secret? How does chiropractic care help headaches?
Your chiropractor will begin with a medical history and exam to evaluate your neck. She may also perform tests that reduce pain or provoke a pain response. This will help her pinpoint the cause of your headaches. Your care will be based on you as an individual.
Instead of reaching for the pills next time you feel a headache building, remember that you have options. Despite how it feels, pain is a good response that alerts you to the fact that something is wrong. The moment you start ignoring the pain is when the nerves can become damaged or issues become permanent.
An easy test can show whether your headaches are caused from a structural issue, nutrition, stress, dehydration, or other issues. And once you have information, you’re in position to make changes and find solutions. You can learn more about what to expect at your first chiropractic session, or schedule your visit here.