From occasional to frequent, from dull to pounding, headaches are a way of life for many Americans. In fact, nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Before you reach for that giant bottle of pain relievers during your next visit to Costco, consider this: Research shows that chiropractic adjustments may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.
A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.
Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.
Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. And a primary cause is our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, with more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture.
Here are a few tips for preventing headaches:
– If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
– Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
– Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
– Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.
During my years in practice, I have treated many patients with headaches, and often a chiropractic adjustment is all they need to feel better fast. Call our office at 425-778-9600 for a consultation. All you have to lose is that big bottle of pain pills.
— Dr. Matthew Waldron
P.S. I found this video that explains quickly how chiropractic can help relieve headache pain. Enjoy!