Headaches are common among Americans, with 95% of women and 90% of men reporting at least one headache within the last year. For 45 million of those people, these headaches are considered chronic.

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve the pain, but do not address the root of the headache problem. Sometimes, these medications cause unwanted side effects, especially if they are used often, over a long period of time, and combined with other medications. Consider alternative approaches to relieving your headaches through a professional chiropractor.

The Causes of Headaches

Headaches occur for a variety of reasons and can differ in level of pain and the length of time they last. They can occur on their own (primary headaches) or may be the result of a health condition (temporary headaches). The following types of headaches are what chiropractors encounter most often:

1. Tension headaches occur when muscular contractions in the head, shoulders, and neck are unrelieved. This pain is often a result of stress which can sometimes trigger tension and stress throughout the rest of the body, resulting in another headache. Tension headaches are primary headaches.

2. Migraines are primary headaches that occur when the blood vessels in the head expand or dilate. Genetics and the nervous system are factors for migraines sufferers. Triggers and symptoms vary, and research is still being conducted on the exact causes of migraines.

3. Cervicogenic headaches happen when pain in the neck or back of the head moves to the forehead or around the eyes. Sources of these secondary headaches include trauma, chronic tension, and disease.

What a Chiropractor Can Do To Help

Medical research suggests that chiropractic care can be valuable in both preventing and reducing the intensity and frequency of primary headaches. Evidence also suggests that a chiropractor can help those who suffer from cervicogenic headaches.

A chiropractor can adjust the spine and neck to manipulate alignment and relieve muscle tension. Additionally, this decreases nerve irritation and aides in vascular flow. A chiropractor may also use massages and other therapies in a headache treatment plan. A chiropractor will most likely offer a well-rounded plan that includes exercise, stretching, relaxation techniques, and proper nutrition. This plan will all work together to help prevent headaches in the future.

Consider a chiropractor if you or someone you care about is experiencing chronic headaches. Relief is possible with specialized chiropractic care.