Tension And Migraine Head Pain Treatment Sioux City
People can experience both tension and migraine headaches, and some can have them both in the same week. On mild days their headache is more of a tension headache that starts in the back of the head and wraps above the ears towards the eyes. Or the headache can just sit in the back of the head and upper neck. Other days the headache is more severe and can produce a dull ache, pounding, and sensitivity of light that is common with migraine headaches.
Both tension and migraine headaches are improved with chiropractic treatments to help decrease muscle spasms and neck joint pain. Joint irritation creates muscle spasms, especially at the base of the skull. This area of the neck has several small muscles that help hold up the head, and several small nerves cut underneath the muscles. Joint pain causes these muscles to spasm and compresses the nerves. The irritation on the nerve can set off or facilitate a series of events that lead to tension or migraine headaches.
Chiropractic Treatment for Headaches
Tension and migraine headaches that are related to neck joint and muscle irritation are improved with chiropractic treatments to decrease muscle spasms and restore joint motion. People who are most likely to respond to chiropractic treatments often describe stiffness and tightness in their neck and upper back. They find themselves rubbing their neck muscles to relieve their stress and pain. These people often experience more tension headaches when their head is down and looking at a computer or paperwork.
At home, headache sufferers try to decrease their tension and migraine headaches with ice, rest, and begging a family member to rub their neck and upper back. They usually have less headaches on the weekend. Their headaches are more intense and frequent in the later afternoon or evening hours. The headaches are more common at the end of the week or after a stressful day at work. They often notice their neck and shoulders tightening with stress and poor posture; which increases their chances of a headache.
Treatment in a Chiropractic Office
The first step is an exam to identify neck joint or muscle spasms that could be contributing to headaches. The patient’s description of pain with prolonged positions, how the headache starts, where it is located, and what makes it better are combined with the examination findings. A trial treatment of care for a few weeks is often the next step to see if headaches will respond to chiropractic treatments.
The office treatments often combine heat, ice, electric, cold laser, ultrasound, traction, massage therapy, Activator Technique, Thompson Drop Technique, or manual manipulation. Light stretching and exercises are incorporated into the treatment plan to enhance flexibility, decrease spasms, and improve strength. Posture recommendations are given to further reduce daily stress and strain placed upon the neck and upper back muscles. Graston Technique, Active Release Technique (ART), or massage therapy are great muscle therapy techniques that are very valuable treatments for tension and migraine headaches.
Treatment goals are to decrease headache intensity, frequency, and duration. Many people often find the headache starts occurring later in the afternoon hours and is less intense by the end of the workday. Their headache begins to go away sooner in the evening. Within two weeks most people notice improved neck range of motion and less tightness across their neck and shoulders.
Chiropractic is a very effective treatment for tension and migraine headaches. Chiropractic helps decrease muscle spasms, trigger points, and restricted joint motions that lead to many people’s headaches. By improving these factors the headaches are less likely to occur. Often when chronic headache sufferers focus on their posture, stretch regularly, and receive chiropractic treatment their headaches are reduced to one or two headaches a month.