Headaches and chiropractic

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If you have a headache, you're not alone. Some estimates suggest 25 percent of the U.S. population has a headache right now. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

What do you do when you get a headache? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? Aspirin and medications may relieve the pain, but they do not correct the underlying cause.

Headaches have many causes. These may include foods, preservatives, alcohol, stress, toxic fumes, environmental stimuli, or behaviors (insomnia, dehydration, blood sugar changes, etc).

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These are called primary headaches because they are not secondary to a disease. The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with the neck.

When bones of the spine lose their normal position or motion, sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head can be affected. When spinal nerves and related tissues are stretched or irritated, they can produce pain in the head. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct spinal joint dysfunction created by the various chemical, emotional and physical stresses in our lives.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center 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.

Your chiropractor can also offer advice on posture and ergonomics. Americans spent more time sitting at desks than ever before. Hours spent in one fixed position can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck.

For more information, email Dr. Wendy at haydenhealth@gmail.com.

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