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Headaches come in all shapes and sizes, but across the board, they’re wildly unpleasant. Think about how you manage headaches – do you do your best to ignore it? Take some OTC pain pills and wait for the pain to go away? Stop everything and hide out in a dark room? But what about visiting the chiropractor? Should you see the chiropractor for headaches?

Spinal Manipulation for a Headache?

A 2014 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed that some of the techniques used in chiropractic care did indeed have a positive impact on acute and chronic neck pain. A previous study in the same publication showed that chiropractic care improved both migraine and cervicogenic headaches.

But how does it really work?

The Causes of Headaches

Headaches can be triggered from environmental factors (stress, noise, light), behaviors (too much sugar, too much exercise, etc.) and certain foods. The vast majority of headaches are classified as primary headaches, meaning they aren’t caused by disease but are themselves the primary issue. Primary headaches include tension or cluster headaches and migraines, and they’re usually associated with tension in the neck.

Think about how we as a society tend to spend our days – sitting in the car, in front of the television or at the computer. This excessive seated posture leads to joint irritation and muscle tension in the upper back, scalp and neck. And in many cases, a headache is the result.

Tips for Reducing Headaches

Here’s what the American Chiropractic Association suggests to reduce or even prevent headaches:

  • Take a break from that sedentary position every 30 minutes or so to stretch, and be sure to move your head and neck through varied but comfortable poses.
  • Add low-impact exercise to your routine.
  • Make sure you don’t clench your teeth. With the exception of swallowing, upper teeth should not be in contact with lower teeth.
  • Avoid dehydration by drinking enough water every day.

In the event that headaches strike, consider visiting the chiropractor to alleviate the stress on your system. Here in Reno, Dr. Lynelle McSweeney can offer additional tips and suggestions relating to posture, ergonomics and relaxation techniques to help you reduce these occurrences. Learn more about what you can expect at your first visit with Dr. McSweeney, and schedule your first appointment now.