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There are many different types of headaches, ranging in severity and how they come about. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, but they can be an absolute nuisance.
While some sufferers turn to medication for tension headaches, it isn’t always the best option. Much more effective treatment may come from a place you wouldn’t expect — the chiropractor’s office.
Chiropractors primarily deal with the back and spine, but this area of the body can have a significant effect on tension headaches. Learn more here about how chiropractors can help reduce the severity and frequency of your tension headaches.
The primary cause of tension headaches is muscle contractions throughout the head and neck area. We spend most of the day straining our neck to look at our phones, look at our computers, or just hold our heads up.
Tense muscles in the head, neck, and shoulders can easily trigger tension headaches. Other causes of tension headaches include:
The neck actually houses the top portion of the spinal cord, so alignment issues and back pain may contribute to your tension headaches, too.
You have a number of options when it comes to treating tension headaches, and a handful of them involve a prescription or a trip to the pharmacy.
Keep in mind, however, that over-the-counter medications only provide temporary relief. Pharmaceuticals don’t address why you have tension headaches in the first place.
If your tension headaches are caused by alignment issues or how you sit while you work — they can be treated without medication through chiropractic care.
Seeing your chiropractor can address the root causes of tension headaches, rather than the symptoms, so you are more likely to experience relief for longer periods of time. Depending on the severity and cause of your tension headaches, chiropractors may offer any of the following treatments:
We spend so much time each day in one fixed posture. If you are not sitting at your desk with perfect posture, your neck or other parts of the spine may become tense or even misaligned.
Spinal manipulation (also known as chiropractic manipulative therapy) helps to bring the spine back into alignment, decrease pain, and offer relief from tension headaches.
Multiple studies have shown how spinal manipulation effectively treats tension headaches. In one study, the mean frequency of tension headaches was cut in half after patients received spinal manipulation therapy.
Muscle tension in the neck is another primary cause of tension headaches, and massage therapy can help patients release that tension.
Chiropractors offer neck stretches and other forms of movement that can help to keep the neck muscles loose and prevent tension headache recurrence.
Believe it or not, your food intake can also become a trigger for both tension headaches and migraines. Other bodily changes, like hormones or a drop in blood sugar levels, can also increase the risk of tension headaches.
Chiropractors may offer nutritional advice and dietary plans for patients who are trying to avoid triggers or enjoy a more healthy lifestyle.
Not all chiropractors offer the same services. Not all treatment programs will address the root cause of your tension headaches.
Depending on where your headaches come from, you may see better results from any one or combination of therapies like acupuncture, hydromassage, and physical therapy.
Talk to your chiropractor about the nature of your pain and what treatment options are most likely to help you live a headache-free life.
Tension headaches affect everyone’s life differently, but one thing is for sure: Life is better without them. Discussing your options with a Florida chiropractor for how to start decreasing the number of tension headaches that you experience is the first step.
About the Author:
Dr. Singer has been a practicing chiropractor for more than 20 years, and USA Health & Therapy has been around since 2004. Over the course of his career, Singer has helped tens of thousands of people with all kinds of issues by using a wide variety of treatment strategies. He has extensive knowledge of chiropractic modalities, including Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson Drop Table, and Activator, and in 1997 he earned a special adjunctive Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma (CCST) to better provide care for car crash victims. Dr. Singer is licensed to practice chiropractic medicine in both Florida and New York.