tension headacheIf you suffer from recurring headaches, you know how debilitating they can be. However, you are not alone. According to Transport Canada: “Fifty-nine percent of the adult population in Canada report some form of headache. Thirty percent suffer from tension-type headaches, and 17% suffer from some form of migraine.”

Medications are available for treating the pain caused by headaches. However, most drugs only treat the symptoms by reducing the brain’s ability to perceive pain. While drugs may provide immediate relief from headache pain, they are not considered a long-term. As long as the underlying conditions causing the headaches persist, the pain will keep returning.

The Natural Approach to Headache Relief

Headaches may be caused by a variety of conditions, many of which can be relieved by chiropractic care and massage therapy without the need for drugs.

Chiropractors are trained to analyse the spinal column and relevant dysfunctions in the neck and upper limbs. Headaches originating from the neck occur when our hypermobile neck joints lock up due to overuse or static positioning. This creates direct pressure on the adjoining spinal nerves that traverse through the joint space. This pressure and irritation interferes with the signals travelling along the nerves, thus a painful stimulus is created and referred to the brain for analysis. Our brains interpret this as damage to the tissue and immediately creates muscle spasms to further resist joint movement and protect the region. Consequently, a headache persists due to the nerve irritation and is hard to release through medication alone.

Doctors of Chiropractic are the only professionals who are trained to be experts at locating and correcting these joint dysfunctions. Through a series of muscle and joint manipulation, chiropractors target and “reset” the source of the problem to allow proper function of the treated tissues. Depending on the severity of the condition, the treatment plan may also include laser therapy and acupuncture to reduce joint inflammation and improve nerve function.

Massage Therapists treat headaches in a variety of ways depending on the condition that is causing them:

  • Tension headaches are addressed by relaxing the neck, shoulders and upper back areas. As the muscles relax and soften, tension goes away and headaches disappear.
  • Sinus headaches are caused by fluids trapped in the sinus cavities. These are best addressed by facial massage. As the sinus cavities relax, trapped fluids begin to flow and drain, relieving pressure and cleansing the sinuses. An experienced massage therapist can teach you simple techniques for massaging and releasing fluids in sinus cavities yourself between massages.
  • Migraine headaches may be caused either by nerves in the neck being impinged, or constriction of blood vessels. If your headache is being caused by nerve impingement, massage can help by releasing the surrounding neck muscles in an attempt to improve blood and nerve flow in the region.

 

Chiropractic and Massage Therapy address the underlying conditions that are causing you to experience headaches. This allows your body to heal itself naturally, and restore a greater level of health and well-being. Contact us for more information about how we can help you to live free from headache pain without taking any medications.


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