Headaches are a common complaint, and we deal with them frequently. Headaches can be a singular event or can be recurring. Whether they’re mild or intense, the pain can be a sharp or dull ache or throbbing, constant or intermittent, on one side or both sides of the head, but is never in the brain, itself, which has no nerve fibers. Instead, headaches are the result of irritation or inflammation of the tissue and structure surrounding the brain and facial area. A patient who seeks treatment for tension headaches needs a diagnosis and help to find the cause of the headaches and forms of relief.
Chiropractic adjustment has been found to be useful in the majority of headaches, particularly those which originate in the neck area. A visit to a reputable chiropractor for headache treatment can also reduce or eliminate the need for medications, which removes the side effects they cause.
The most common headaches are tension headaches, which are often recurrent and can be triggered by either physical or emotional causes. Tension headaches can cause neck spasms and are often described as a ‘hatband’ headache since that is an area often affected by tension headaches. They can often be exacerbated or made worse by over-the-counter pain relief medications.
Another common kind of headache is a migraine headache. Migraine headaches can be on one or both sides of the head and caused by hormones, stress, food, or other factors. Although many people consider severe headache pain to be a migraine, most migraines are accompanied by a sensitivity to light, sound, or odors and can be accompanied by vomiting or a visual aura.
Cluster headaches are headaches which occur in clusters, that is, a cluster of headaches in a short time period, anywhere from a few hours apart or daily for a few days. They can also be headaches which wake a person from a sound sleep and cause the worst kind of pain, described as having pain behind or around one eye. These headaches can be debilitating, and cause watering of the nose or eye, and restlessness.
Causes of headaches vary. Primary causes of headaches are stress, disruption or lack of sleep, smoking, wine (not a hangover), hormones, food, genetics, and biological conditions.
Secondary causes of headaches
Causes of headaches vary greatly, and part of the treatment for recurrent headaches is to attempt to find the reasons for them. The causes of secondary headaches may include trauma, structural problems of the teeth, jaw, sinuses or ears, infections, exertion, substance abuse withdrawal, or other disorders.
Treatment is determined by the type of headache, symptoms, and causes of them. An occasional headache is not surprising. Recurrent headaches can lead to depression, decreased productivity, loss of enjoyment of life, and even suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it’s essential to obtain a diagnosis, learn the triggers, and get the relief a patient needs to get them back on the path to a happy, pain-free life.
If you have headaches, there is no reason to delay treatment due to lack of insurance or while waiting for insurance approval. Here at Northeast Portland Chiropractic, we treat car accident cases with zero out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Call 503-493-9730.