Headache pain is extremely common, afflicting nine out of 10 Americans at some point. While headaches have a number of triggers, including environmental causes and behaviors, they often occur because of muscle tension in the neck. If you experience regular headaches and live in the Portland, Oregon, area, consult Dr. Phil McCary at Laurelhurst Chiropractic. He helps diagnose the root cause of your headache pain and offers therapies to resolve it. Call the office or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.
Headache Q & A
What triggers a headache?
Headaches vary in intensity and frequency. In about 5% of cases, a headache is a symptom of a reaction to a trigger, such as noise, light, stress, poor sleep, blood sugar changes, or dietary triggers. The other 95% of headaches are primary, meaning they occur independently of outside triggers. These include tension, migraine, and cluster headaches.
Primary headaches often occur due to muscle tension or other mechanical issues in the neck. This tension may occur because of poor posture and how you hold yourself when seated, standing, or exercising.
How can I prevent headaches?
Dr. McCary suggests lifestyle measures to help reduce headache pain. These include avoiding prolonged periods in a strained position, such as sitting at a computer or hunching over a sewing machine. Regular physical activity can alleviate tension, as can proper hydration and dietary changes.
Regular chiropractic care can help relieve mechanical and tension problems causing your headache pain.
How can a chiropractor help resolve chronic headaches?
If lifestyle changes don’t resolve your pain, you may benefit from chiropractic care that releases soft-tissue tension and realigns vertebrae. When your body is out of alignment, it increases joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back, and scalp — all causing your head to ache.
Dr. McCary can identify vertebral misalignments and use gentle spinal manipulation to bring them back into the proper space. When the bones in your neck aren’t supporting your head properly, it can affect nerves, muscles, and even the blood supply to your head. Dr. McCary may also offer decompression therapy and soft-tissue manipulation to alleviate your pain.
Chiropractic care relieves associated pressure on nerves and soft tissue that’s contributing to your pain. Supplemental therapies, including massage and acupuncture, can further reduce tension and stiffness that may be contributing to your headache symptoms.
Can chiropractic care relieve migraines?
Research shows that chiropractic treatment is an effective way to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Chiropractic care also helps wean you off of drug therapy treatment for migraines.
Migraines can be the result of small subluxations, or misalignments, in your spine — causing your nerves and muscles to become inflamed and irritated. Chiropractic manipulations reset these misalignments and put your vertebrae where they should be so you have fewer, or no, incidents of migraines.