At BodyBack chiropractic one of the most common conditions we see are headaches. 50% of people get headaches with 30% getting full migraines. Headaches occur most common between the ages of 18 to 44 and occur in females more than males. Although those that suffer think it is normal, it is not. Headaches have many causes including emotional (stress, anxiety, depression), hormonal (cyclical with the men’s team cycle), medical condition (high blood pressure, infection), physical or mechanical (injury, dysfunction in your spine, nerve irritation, tight muscles, trigger points) and environmental ( weather, allergies, etc). All headaches affect our ability to concentrate, do the things we love to do, spend time with loved ones, and limit those things we need to do.
With so many causes it is important that we get to the root cause. Whether the headaches are from muscles, joints, discs, stress, or something else, knowing why is the key to stopping them. In our office we focus on the mechanical and physical but we can also help you with lifestyle changes for the other cause. Chiropractic has great success in relieving and resolving headaches.
We start with a comprehensive history and examination. There are many different causes for headaches including posture, tight or weak neck muscles, stress, hormonal, allergic reactions to environment or food, or
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
The consultation and examination are all focused on finding the cause of your headaches. We start by getting to know you as a person and how your headaches are impacting your life. We then get an in-depth knowledge of your health history and your lifestyle to determine any possible causes of headaches. Our comprehensive M.A.P.S. approach looks at total body function assessing Movement, Alignment (posture), Pain (stiffness), and Strength of the neck. This allows us to identify the true cause of headaches.
We go a step further examining headaches by looking at your lifestyle, environmental emotional triggers for a complete holistic approach.
Specific Chiropractic Care In Portland, ME
One of the major causes of headaches is nerve irritation due to the spine not moving properly. In chiropractic we use the term subluxation. Chiropractic manipulation is the best treatment to resolve this nerve irritation and gets the spine moving properly. Causes for subluxations are improper Movement, Abnormal Posture, and lack of Stability in the spine.
Chiropractic manipulation targets specific segments of the spine that are stuck and are restricted and allows the spine to move properly. This removes any nerve irritation and relieves headaches. It is important to have a chiropractor assess your spine for subluxations to find the root cause for your headaches.
The most common cause for headaches is tension. When muscles get tight, they can irritate nerves, cause ‘radiating’ pain and travel, sitting behind the head, eyes, or forehead. The most common muscles are found at the base of the skull in a muscle group called the suboccipital triangle and muscles in the side / front of the neck called the scalene muscles.
Chiropractic addresses the nerves that control these muscles through manipulation. When muscle work is combined with manipulation, we not only address the muscles, but also the nerves that control the muscles. Many patients find this gives longer lasting relief.
Corrective Exercises and Stretches
With the spine adjusted and muscles relaxed, we then teach patients how to care for their own headaches that come from mechanical causes (posture, tight musculature). We use a system that teaches the foundations for a healthy neck starting with proper posture, stretching, and finishing with strength building exercises for the neck. Our goal is to get rid of your headaches fast, keep you that way and teach you what you can do every day to stay feeling great.
Patients find that when they know how to strengthen their neck and stretch properly, they can control their own headaches long term. This:
Cervical Spinal Decompression in Portland, ME
One common cause for headaches can be herniated, bulged, or inflamed discs of the cervical region. There are seven bones (bertebrae) in your neck with discs in between that provide cushion and allows for proper movement. When there are injuries such as herniated, bulged, or inflamed discs, nerves can become irritated and cause radiaiting pain to the head.
To treat discs, a specialized treatment of spinal decompression is used. Spinal decompression works by removing pressure from the disc which allows it to heal properly. When Spinal Decompression is combined with adjustments and exercises we are addressing the joints, discs, and muscles for complete healing.
Common Types of Headaches in Portland, ME
Tension headaches are generally diffuse with mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band around your head. It is the most common type of headaches. Common causes for tension headaches can be caused by muscle tightness, trigger points and spinal dysfunction.
The most important treatments in tension headaches combine adjustments and muscle work to alleviate muscle tension. Also, finding the cause of the tight muscles and trigger points is important in relieving tension headaches. Helping patients with stress relieving techniques, proper breathing, proper posture and stretching can all be valuable in getting rid of tension headaches long term.
Migraine headaches can be debilitating. Migraines are typically characterized by intense throbbing, pulsing, and deep severe aching. This often results in nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to lifht and sensitivity to sound. Many paitents report an aura (lights , visual disturbances, etc.) prior to their migraine.
There are many causes for migraines including hormonal imbalance, stress / tension , allergic / food sensivities , past head or brain injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Chiropractic focuses on ensuring that the muscles and the joints are moving properly through manipulation, stretches and exercises. We combine this with stress reduction techniques and food guidance to address the many causes of migraines.
Cervicogenic headaches are a commonly overlooked cause of headaches. This is where the source of headaches is the neck, but pain is felt in the head. Cervicogenic headaches are characterized by pain in the back of the head and wraps around to the front. This is often with pain and stiffness in the neck.
These headaches respond very quickly to chiroapctic manipulation as it relieves the pressure from the nerve and joints in the cervical spine giving almost immediate relief that lasts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a chiropractor in Portland, ME good for headaches?
YES! Chiropractors treat headaches several times per day with great results. Many patients wish they would have seen a chiropractor sooner.
When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?
Headaches are never ‘ normal ‘ However, many people have the occasional random headache. It is when headahces are consistent and occur more than ‘once in a while’ that you should seek help.
Is a massage or chiropractic better for headaches?
Due to the many cauyses for headaches, it is good to have a Doctor of Chiropractic look at what the cause is. This allows for the joints, muscles and nerves to be addressed , as well as, any other secondary treatment you may need ( meditation, diet changes, etc. )
Do medical doctors recommend chiropractors for headaches?
Many medical doctors will recommend chiropractic as a way to treat headaches conservatively. The most common thing patients say is there doctor said “ Give it a try”
Are chiropractors covered by insurance for headaches?
Our office accepts most major insurance carriers and treatment for headaches is covered.
How can I relieve my headaches?
The most common thing you can do at home is to ice and go into a dark room, and if possible, rest. Other remodies that have been helpful are caffeine, NSAIDS, stretches, etc.
Can getting your neck adjusted help with headaches?
Because chiropraxctic addresses the muscles, nerves and joints, it provides relief for all types of headaches. Even when headaches are cured through manipulation, patients report improved function in their life due to less severe headaches and that they occur less often.