Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
Have you ever been sitting at your desk and felt a headache coming on? If it’s a tight headache with band like pains around your head, then chances are good you were experiencing a tension headache.
Note: If you ever experience a vision disturbances or nausea with a headache, seek medical attention immediately!
Can a chiropractor help with tension headaches? Most definitely! Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.1
How do you treat your tension headaches?
- Do you grit your teeth and bear through it until it passes?
- Do you take a pill and hope it helps?
- Do you search Pinterest for that last pin you saw on how to reduce a headache?
If you’re experiencing frequent tension headaches, I recommend that your first course of action should be to educate yourself on the symptoms and causes of tension headaches.
What is a tension headache?
Tension headaches are described as tight, band like pain that goes around the temples and are non-throbbing. The International Headache Society diagnostic criteria for tension headaches are at least 10 episodes lasting 30 minutes to 7 days PLUS 2 of the following:
- Bilateral location
- Pressing or tightening or squeezing in character
- Mild to moderate intensity
- Not aggravated by activity
In addition, there should not be any nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light) or phonophobia (sensitivity to sound).
If your headache is accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light or sensitivity to sound, your headache may be a common or classic migraine.
What causes tension headaches?
Although tension headaches are the most common type of headache, the cause remains a relative mystery. Posture, stress and diet all seem to contribute to tension headaches.
Women and middle aged individuals are at a greater risk for tension headaches although the reasoning behind this is still unclear.
It is possible that those who suffer from tension headaches are more sensitive to stress and pain.
Another popular explanation for tension headaches is muscle spasms, although there is debate about whether the muscle spasms cause the tension headache or if the increased sensitivity to pain makes the muscle spasms more pronounced.
Tension headaches are most prevalent in the afternoon and evening hours.
How do you treat tension headaches?
Tension headaches can be treated with over the counter (OTC) medication, lifestyle changes, stress reduction, and chiropractic care.
Lifestyle changes include:
- Diet changes to reduce alcohol and nitrates.
- Posture while sitting at a desk, driving and standing
- Increased water consumption to reduce muscle spasms
- Increase exercise
Stress reduction can include:
- Setting aside a certain time of day to relax and unwind
- Start a calming hobby
Drug Free Headache Treatments and Headache Relief
Chiropractic care for tension headaches may include
- Postural and Ergonomic Instruction
- Nutritional Supplementation
- Trigger Point Therapy
According to the ACA website 1:
Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
If you are experiencing tension headaches and wish to discuss your treatments options please contact Advanced Wellness Solutions today.