There has recently been a rise In the number of cases of headaches presenting in hospitals In the UK. Is this because people are unsure of where is the best place to be and how best to manage them? There are many different types of headaches and each type needs to be managed differently. We are hoping to clear some of that up for you, and help you identify the root cause of your headache, writes Reading Chiropractor Beccy Norman.
Possibly the most well- known headache. Statistics suggest that there are
190,000 migraine attacks experienced in the UK every day. This is a headache disorder that manifests as recurring attacks. The pain is of moderate to severe severity and often felt on one side of the face. The headaches usually last between 4-72 hours and are often throbbing in nature.
People often have known triggers for these headaches such as :
Unfortunately there is no strong evidence towards any particular cure as such for migraine headaches. However, many people find that both preventative and relief medications can help with the headaches. These are best discussed with your GP.
There is plenty of research that suggests alternative therapy such as massage therapy and chiropractic care can relieve the symptoms of a migraine headaches and reduce the severity. We have many guests at the centre who use us to manage their migraines. The way chiropractic and osteopathy works Is that we aim to eliminate the biomechanical elements of the migraine and restore best possible function to the spine. This is because the vast majority of people suffering migraines have a mechanical aspect that acts as a trigger for these migrainous headaches. If the mechanics in the neck are good then it is much less likely that these people will trigger a headache. What is the root cause of your headache?
These are often felt as a band like, tightening sensation across the forehead and behind the eyes. One of the main reasons these are felt here Is because some of the muscles at the back of the neck (sub occipitals) have a direct link to this area of your face and therefore refer pain here when they are tight. There are many reasons for these muscles getting tight and contributing to your headache. These include:
If you are able to remove all of the above lifestyle factors, you might well find that your tension headaches rapidly begin to improve!
With tension headaches, as practitioners we can work to effectively relieve the tension held at the top of the neck through adjustments, dry needling and stretching techniques. If this is the root cause of your headache, and if you are able to eliminate the lifestyle factors mentioned previously, then the combination is found to be really successful.
Cervicogenic headaches are what’s called a secondary headache. This means there is an underlying cause to the headache. The pain caused by a cervicogenic headache begins at the back of the neck and then begins to spread to the front of the head. Oher associated symptoms include:
One of the most common causes Is dysfunction in the cervical spine (the neck). Particularly at levels C2-C3. Quite often people develop these headaches due to their jobs such as : hairdressers, manual labourers and drivers.
These are the headaches that us chiropractors and osteopaths are great at improving due to the spinal aspect. There is strong evidence that shows us the link between chiropractic and osteopathic adjustments and the improvement of cervicogenic headaches.
Alongside adjustments from your practitioner, massage therapy can be an excellent tool to help aid relief of symptoms from most headaches too.
Understanding the cause of patient’s headache is absolutely crucial to a therapist/practitioner in choosing correct massage techniques that are performed during a treatment. If it’s deep tissue massage that uses firm pressure with slow strokes to encourage deeper muscle layers to relax, a trigger point therapy that focuses on easing knotted muscles using direct pressure or a Thai yoga massage that relieves pain and muscle tension when compression, stretching, pulling or rocking are applied.
Researchers in Granada have shown that the psychological and physiological state of patients with headaches improved within 24 hours after receiving a massage. Massage treatments performed on a regular basis help the body to maintain an optimal level of relaxation and stress – relief. They also reduce anxiety and the chances of headaches by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points.
If you’re unsure of what type of headache you have and whether we are the right people for you, then a great solution is coming in to see us for a complimentary spinal scan where we can help point you in the right direction, and find the root cause of your headache. Contact us at Reflex Spinal Health on 0118 946 2100. We look forward to helping you feel better!
Chaibi, A., Tuchin, P.J. and Russell, M.B., 2011. Manual therapies for migraine: a systematic review. The journal of headache and pain, 12(2), pp.127-133.
Haas, M., Groupp, E., Aickin, M., Fairweather, A., Ganger, B., Attwood, M., Cummins, C. and Baffes, L., 2004. Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 27(9), pp.547-553.
Moore, M.K., 2004. Upper crossed syndrome and its relationship to cervicogenic headache. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 27(6), pp.414-420.
Tuchin, P.J., Pollard, H. and Bonello, R., 2000. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 23(2), pp.91-95.
Roland Bryans, Martin Descarreaux, Mireille Duranleau, Henri Marcoux, Brock Potter, Rick Ruegg, Lynn Shaw, Robert Watkin and Eleanor White, Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Chiropractic Treatment of Adults With Headache, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008, 34, 5, (274-289), (2011)
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.