Headaches are one of the most common health problems patients experience on a day to day basis. They can range from mild and irritating to severe and completely debilitating. It’s important to realize that they may develop slow and gradually, or come on suddenly. Above all, anyone with any type of headache wants relief as soon as possible. In order to find the best relief for your headaches, you need to know what kind of headaches you are experiencing. To put it differently, having some knowledge about YOUR headaches helps us here at Spinal logic Chiropractic provide relief.
A tension headache is the most common type of headache people experience. A tension headache is a pressing pain or tightening pain on one or both sides. They are usually mild to moderate in intensity, Tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a week. Normally a tension headache will not cause nausea or vomiting, but they may include some light sensitivity.
Migraine headaches are not as common as tension headaches. Roughly 28 million people in the United States suffer from migraines. Three out of four of those are female. Often, a patient will associate any severe headache pain to migraine. However that is not always the case. Officially, migraine is a condition that includes a recurring headache that lasts from 4 to 72 hours at a time. Migraine pain is typically on one side of the head. It includes moderate to severe pulsating pain. A migraine might come with nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity. Normal physical activity can make migraines worse. Experiencing these symptoms 5 times can lead to a diagnosis of migraine. Approximately 20% of migraine sufferers will have a neurological symptom known as an aura before they actually experience a migraine. Auras may be a visual disturbance or other sensory disturbances that come before the migraine.
Women often notice a relationship between headaches and hormonal changes. Estrogen and progesterone play key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle. Steady levels of estrogen can sometimes improve headaches. Estrogen levels that dip and soar can make headaches worse. Migraine has been tied to estrogen. In addition to the typical migraine symptoms, a hormonal headache may be accompanied by loss of appetite, fatigue, joint pain, lack of coordination, decrease in urination, constipation, or cravings for alcohol, salt, or chocolate.
Cluster headaches only occur in about 1% of the population. These are painful headaches that include severe pain around the eyes or along the side of the head. They may be accompanied by tearing, forehead sweating, and nasal congestion. Sufferers are often restless and agitated. They may last from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Cluster headaches can occur up to 8 times in a single day. 20%-40% of cluster headache patients are men.
When we experience a headache, we want relief and we want it quickly! With this in mind, the best medicine could be prevention. On the positive side, regular headache sufferers often become aware of certain things that are triggers to a headache. Under those circumstances, avoiding your triggers will lessen your occurrences of headaches. For example, common triggers to avoid are certain foods, bright lights, loud noises, certain scents, dehydration, lack of sleep, high stress, poor posture, and extended screen time.
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. We do not know exactly how it works. However, we do know that it works in the central nervous system. It reduces the amount of prostaglandins that your body produces, which is a substance associated with feeling pain.
Aspirin is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug, NSAID. It reduces inflammation in the body. This reduces pain, swelling, and irritation. It also reduces the amount of prostaglandins that your body produces, but in a different way than acetaminophen does.
Granted, caffeine is not a pain reliever. Instead, it narrows the blood vessels. As a result, the amount of blood that can flow in a blood vessel at one time decreases. Caffeine can relieve headaches by slowing the amount of blood flow to the brain.
Recent clinical studies confirm that chiropractic care can help prevent or relieve migraine attacks. Treatments work at decreasing stress levels in the patient’s body. Certainly, stress is one of the major migraine triggers. With the hectic lifestyle most people have today, it’s no wonder that migraine attacks occur more often than ever. A primary chiropractic treatment for headaches can be a spinal adjustment. In as much that the spine is full of nerves, bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, it makes sense. If your discs come out of alignment, it can cause a long list of challenges, including headaches. Therefore, a spinal adjustment will relieve pressure and stress on your spine, providing relief.
In the event that you suffer from any of the above types of headaches and want a natural, non-invasive approach to ease your pain, Spinal Logic can help. Our chiropractors will take the time to assess every aspect of your lifestyle, medical history, and body to find a permanent solution to your headaches. Contact our team today at 317-745-5111 to schedule an appointment or learn more. We look forward to hearing from you.
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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.