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Headaches and Migraines
"Ouch, my aching head" is an all-too-familiar refrain for the millions of individuals who struggle with chronic headaches and migraines. These conditions can range from stressful and annoying to completely debilitating in duration, frequency and severity, in some cases making it impossible for people to live a normal life.
But these conditions don't arise for no reason at all -- they're associated with specific abnormalities and functional issues, many of which can be addressed through natural methods instead of drugs. If you've been wishing you could find effective migraine treatment in the Normandy Park area, Optimal Health Spine + Wellness can help you feel better.
Most headaches of the "tension headache" variety. These headaches are so named, not because they're associated with emotional tension (although emotional stress can certainly be a precipitating factor), but because they often result from tension in a muscle known as the RCPM muscle.
When this muscle tightens, it tugs on a sensitive tissue at the base of the skull called the dura mater, which in turn sets off a classic tension headache. While anyone can have an occasional tension headache, constant or recurring headaches may indicate a musculoskeletal misalignment in the upper cervical spine.
Migraine attacks are characterized by pulsing pain in one part of the head, accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and sound. In extreme cases, a severe migraine attack could last for days. A tension headache, cluster headache, and migraine pain are all incredibly debilitating, detrimentally impacting a patient’s quality of life.
Migraines are still somewhat shrouded in mystery, but current medical understanding holds that they're related to unnaturally low serotonin levels. This causes a reaction in the trigeminal nerve that relays pain messages to the meninges (membranes covering the brain). The first sign of an approaching migraine may be odd visual distortions or "auras." This may be followed by excruciating pain, nausea/vomiting, extreme sensitivity to sound/light and blurred vision. A migraine can be brought on by everything from certain foods to flashing lights or even changes in the weather.
People common turn to pain relievers for migraine treatment or headache relief, but these drugs don't address the underlying causes of chronic headaches or migraines. Even worse, migraine medications may lose their effectiveness over time unless you keep increasing the dosage. Our chiropractic clinic can combat that pain at the source by helping your body function more normally.
If you suffer from headaches or migraines, chiropractic treatments are an effective alternative to pain medications for immediate relief (“patch care”) and long-term health improvements. Our Normandy Park chiropractors have substantial experience treating patients for headache pain, including a stress headache and migraine pain, by targeting the underlying triggers for this pain. All it takes is just one adjustment to experience immediate relief and improvement. Depending on the severity of your headache pain, you may benefit from weekly adjustments as part of a long-term care program.
The first step for relieving headache pain is to identify the underlying trigger. For many patients, their headache pain is triggered by a cervical spine subluxation. A misalignment in the neck may place pressure on nerves and muscles. For example, compression of the RCPM muscle is associated with tension headache pain. While the exact cause for headaches is not fully understood, research suggests that RCPM muscle spasms may affect blood flow into the brain and lead to mixed neurological signals. Stress, poor posture, and clenching the jaw are associated with tension headaches.
Once a cervical spine subluxation is identified, our Normandy Park chiropractor will use hands-on adjustments to address this misalignment. For many patients, their cervical spine misalignment is due to an untreated whiplash injury, sports injury or personal injury. Depending on the severity and frequency of your headache pain, a single adjustment can provide immediate relief. Some patients with severe, frequent headaches will benefit from ongoing corrective care 2-3 times per week for 6-8 weeks. Every patient is different, which is why our chiropractor creates personalized treatment plans to best address each patient’s headache and neck pain relief needs.
In addition to chiropractic adjustments, our chiropractor will also evaluate dietary and lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your headache pain. Stress, caffeine, lack of sleep, and certain foods are all potential triggers for headaches. Treating the underlying cause of headaches (e.g. a cervical spine misalignment) and addressing the contributing trigger factors (e.g. caffeine intake) are both important for minimizing the risk for future headache pain.
Don't let headaches or migraines dominate your daily life. Contact our Normandy Park chiropractors and enjoy immediate relief today! Call 206-241-3836 today to schedule an appointment.