How you can find relief from chronic headaches and migraines

 

Headaches and Migraines –  Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What’s the difference between Headaches and Migraines?

A headache is pain or discomfort that is felt in the head region. The pain is usually felt in one area, such as the face, back of the head, forehead, scalp or behind the eyes. Headache is one of the most common symptoms experienced by people. In fact, it is quite unusual not to have had at least an occasional headache during your lifetime.

While many headaches are annoying, they don’t generally interfere in your daily life. There are however, several forms of recurring headaches which really impact your health and quality of life. These are Tension Headaches, Cervicogenic Headaches, and Migraines.

Migraines are particularly debilitating. A Migraine is a headache in which the pain is throbbing and intense, and usually affects one side of the head. Migraines are usually a chronic problem and can impact your ability to carry on with your everyday tasks for hours and even days. A Migraine is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, light/sound sensitivity, pain in the temples, ear or eye, and vomiting. Migraine headaches may have an “aura” which are symptoms a person experiences before he or she gets a migraine.

At North Shore Family Chiropractors Chatswood we see many patients for Headache and Migraine Treatment.

What are the common Symptoms of a tension headache?

Tension Headaches are headaches which are frequently experienced, mostly in the afternoon and early evening.

Symptoms of Tension Headaches include:

  • Pressure and constant aching, but no throbbing or pulsing, on both sides of your head
  • Tightness or pressure around your forehead or on the sides and back of your head
  • Dull, aching pain at your temples or the back of your head and neck.
  • Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
  • No vomiting, nausea or light/sound sensitivity
  • Normal activity is possible
    Headache can last days or weeks.

What are the common Symptoms of a tension headache?

Tension Headaches are headaches which are frequently experienced, mostly in the afternoon and early evening.

Symptoms of Tension Headaches include:

  • Pressure and constant aching, but no throbbing or pulsing, on both sides of your head
  • Tightness or pressure around your forehead or on the sides and back of your head
  • Dull, aching pain at your temples or the back of your head and neck.
  • Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
  • No vomiting, nausea or light/sound sensitivity
  • Normal activity is possible
    Headache can last days or weeks.

What are the symptoms of Cervicogenic Headaches?

Cervicogenic headaches are those in which the pain is referred from the neck or spine.

Symptoms of Cervicogenic Headaches include:

 

  • Onset of headache is gradual, usually after activity, or the day after activity
  • Dull or piercing ache at the back of the head, near the eyes or temple
  • Pain on one side of the head
  • Neck pain, stiffness, problems moving the neck
  • Pain, pins and needles or tingling may also be felt in upper back, shoulders, arms or hands.
  • Symptoms may worsen during certain movements of the neck
  • Light-headedness, nausea, tinnitus, sensitivity to light may also occur.

    What are the causes of Headaches?

    There is no clear, single cause for Tension Headaches. They may be due to a build-up of stress or postural strain and can be the result of tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. Tension Headaches can be triggered by:

        • poor posture
        • emotional or mental stress
        • anxiety
        • lack of physical activity
        • not enough rest
        • fatigue
        • hunger

    Cervicogenic Headaches are typically caused by activities placing excessive pressure on the upper joints of the neck. This may due to trauma like heavy lifting or an injury. However it’s more common that these headaches are caused by repetitive activities like:

        • prolonged slouching
        • poor posture
        • incorrect lifting or carrying
        • excessive bending or twisting of the neck
        • working at a computer
        • activities where hands are used in front of body.

    What are the causes of Headaches?

    There is no clear, single cause for Tension Headaches. They may be due to a build-up of stress or postural strain and can be the result of tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. Tension Headaches can be triggered by:

    • poor posture
    • emotional or mental stress
    • anxiety
    • lack of physical activity
    • not enough rest
    • fatigue
    • hunger

    Cervicogenic Headaches are typically caused by activities placing excessive pressure on the upper joints of the neck. This may due to trauma like heavy lifting or an injury. However it’s more common that these headaches are caused by repetitive activities like:

    • prolonged slouching
    • poor posture
    • incorrect lifting or carrying
    • excessive bending or twisting of the neck
    • working at a computer
    • activities where hands are used in front of body.

    Let us help relieve your pain

    New Patient Consultation and Examination:
    $58

    What are the symptoms of Migraines?

    Migraine Headaches can be particularly debilitating. Symptoms of a Migraine Headache include:

    • intense, throbbing, severe pain
    • pain behind one eye or ear, or temples
    • seeing spots or flashing lights
    • sensitivity to light and/or sound
    • temporary vision loss
    • problems performing daily tasks
    • nausea, vomiting

    Migraine Headaches may have an “aura” which are the symptoms a person experiences before he or she gets a migraine. These symptoms typically occur up to 30 minutes beforehand. These can include:

    • feeling less mentally alert or having trouble thinking
    • seeing flashing lights or unusual lines
    • tingling or numbness in the face or hands
    • unusual sense of smell, taste, or touch.

    Causes of Migraine Headaches

    The cause of Migraine Headaches is not entirely understood, however it’s believed that Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Imbalances in brain chemicals — including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system — may be involved, as serotonin levels drop during migraines. Whatever the actual underlying cause, it is known that there are a number of Migraine Headache triggers.

    Common triggers include:

    • Hormonal changes in women
    • Foods and food additives
    • Alcohol and caffeine
    • Stress
    • Sensory stimuli
    • Changes in sleep patterns
    • Changes in the environment

    How can they be diagnosed and treated?

    In some cases diagnostic imaging such as CT scans, X-ray and MRI scans may be necessary for the assessment and relief of your Headaches and Migraines.

    Treatment for your Headaches and Migraines will depend on the results of a thorough examination by your Chiropractic Doctor. At North Shore Family Chiropractors Chatswood, we offer relief from Headaches and Migraines through:

    • chiropractic manipulation
    • traction – designed to restore neck alignment and strengthen the spine
    • improving posture
    • a specialised exercise program
    • lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and behavioral change.

    How can Chiropractic care relieve Headaches and Migraines?

    Headaches and Migraines are a very common condition in patients with spinal problems. We will investigate whether your spine or posture is contributing to your Headaches and Migraines. Our Chiropractors are also trained to recognise the signs of rare problems that may require immediate medical attention. Research has shown that the most common types of Headaches and Migraines respond well to chiropractic care. Relief from even severe headaches may occur when spinal subluxations (spinal joints that are out of alignment or don’t move that lead to nerve irritation) and jaw problems are corrected through chiropractic adjustment.

    At North Shore Family Chiropractors we use the most researched chiropractic technique in the world, Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP) which we integrate with traditional Chiropractic treatment. This is a scientific approach to spinal realignment and pain relief.

    There are several research studies which indicate that patients with chronic headaches also tend to have a straighter curvature of the neck or a neck that curves the reverse way. By restoring the natural curve in the neck through CBP, the body functions properly again and there is reduction in headaches and other symptoms.

    If you are experiencing Headaches and Migraines, it is also crucial to consult with your Chiropractic Doctor about appropriate exercise as you may make the problem worse through inappropriate physical activity. At our Chatswood Clinic we offer a comprehensive exercise program in our specialised gym as part of a holistic treatment regime designed to relieve your Headache and Migraine pain. These exercises are designed to reduce your symptoms and prevent relapse in the future.

    Please contact our friendly clinic to book in for an appointment and find out more about how we can support you in the treatment of your condition.

    Let us help relieve your pain

    New Patient Consultation and Examination:
    $58

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