Do you suffer from headaches or migraines?
For those of you who have visited us here at The Chiropractic Centre: Bristol, you would recognise this question, regardless of the reason you came in to see us. It has been estimated that 10 million people in the UK suffer from headaches on a regular basis (nhs.uk). So unsurprisingly here at the clinic we see a lot of patients suffering headaches, whether it being their main complaint or something that we have uncovered during the case history. Quite often they can describe these as ‘normal’ headaches. There is no such thing as a ‘normal’ headache.
Some of you may ask, ‘What do headaches have to do with your spine?’
Well there are hundreds of types of headaches but some of the most common are tension headaches, migraines and cervicogenic headaches, all of which can be influenced by spinal health and posture.
Those who suffer with tension headaches, often describe a feeling of band like pressure across the forehead and temples. They can also describe tightness within the muscles of the neck. The exact causes aren’t clear but can range from stress and poor posture to dehydration.
Migraines are typically less common but are felt as a severe, throbbing type pain that can affect the front or side of the head. Some will also suffer with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.
These are headaches that originate from the neck and refer pain up into the head. Typically it is felt as a dull, aching pain that can really affect any area of the head but most commonly seen felt at the back of the head.
So where does Chiropractic come in?
While there can be many influencing factors, more often than not at the clinic, those who suffer from these headaches have joints within their neck that are not functioning as they should be. We describe these joints as being ‘misaligned’. When a spinal joint is misaligned it can put pressure on a nerve that can start to cause pain. The spinal nerves that originate in the upper part of the neck supply sensation to head, therefore when pressure is put on these nerves, it can cause a headache. Also tension within muscles around the neck and upper back, as well as poor posture, can all play it’s part.
The good news is that Chiropractic care can help by taking the pressure off these nerves, improving your spinal health and headaches. Complement this with sports massage to relieve the adjacent tight sub occipital muscles and you’re on to a winner.
Chiropractors are trained to diagnose what is causing your headache and if we think that your spine is playing major part, then the good news is that we are trained to treat it too. There are of course rare instances where your headache may be being caused by something out of our scope. If that is the case then we will refer you to the appropriate healthcare practitioner.
So if you’re suffering from headaches or migraines then give the clinic a call and get yourself booked in to see us 🙂