Headaches and Migraines Relief at Apex Chiropractic in Santa Monica
If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer with the pain of migraines and other headaches, you know they can be very painful and debilitating. In the U.S., approximately nine out of ten people suffer from some type of headaches and more than 37 million experience migraine headaches regularly. There are several different types of headaches with very different symptoms. These include tension headaches, cluster headaches, sinus headaches and migraines. Tension headaches are very common and classified as "episodic" or "chronic". Episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days per month. They typically produce mild to moderate but constant pain. People who suffer with this type of headache often describe the pain as a band-like pressure or throbbing on the top, front or sides of their head. The pain usually begins gradually in the middle of the day. The pain from episodic tension headaches can last as little as 30 minutes or continue for several days.
Chronic tension headaches vary in intensity throughout the day, but pain is almost always present. In contrast to episodic, chronic tension headaches come and go for a prolonged period of time greater than 15 days a month. Tension headaches will commonly include the following symptoms:
- Muscle tension
- Disturbances to sleep with difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mild sensitivity to sound or light
Cluster headaches are characterized by pain described as intense, piercing and throbbing in quality. The pain is constant and always on one side, either behind or around the eye. By definition, these headaches are short, usually 30 to 90 minutes, but can last several hours and come in clusters of 1 to 3 in a day. Usually this type of headache will affect individuals very regularly at the same time each day or disturb sleep at the same time during the night.
Sinus headaches produce a deep and constant pain. Sinus headache pain will present in the forehead, cheekbones or the bridge of the nose. Sinus headache sufferers will usually also have symptoms of nasal discharge, pressure in the ears and pain with head movements or while straining.
Migraines headaches are believed to be caused by a fluctuation of neurotransmitters in the brain. These are chemicals that send messages between brain cells and affect our hormone levels and the constriction and dilation of blood vessels. Often confused with other types of headaches, migraines produce moderate to severe pain that is accompanied by the following set of very specific symptoms in various combinations:
- Pain that can affect the whole head or shift from one side to the other
- Sensitivity to light, sound or smells
- Nausea or vomiting
- Upset stomach
- Blurred vision
- Sensation of being too warm or too cold
- Loss of appetite
- Aura: sensation of flashing lights, dots or wavy, jagged lines that precedes the migraine pain
Migraine headaches are commonly precipitated by a "trigger". Several factors have been identified as triggers for migraine headaches. Various foods and preservatives such as red wines, aged cheeses, nitrates used in smoked meats, monosodium glutamate, artificial sweeteners, dairy products and even chocolate is some unfortunate individuals.
Chiropractic care and Headaches
Fortunately, regardless of type, most headaches respond well to chiropractic care. Our cervical spines are very susceptible to misalignments (subluxations). These subluxations directly affect our nervous systems by irritating or compressing the delicate nerve roots that pass between our cervical vertebrae. These nerve roots branch and communicate important information to all organs and tissues in our bodies. Misalignments interfere with this communication and with our bodies ability to manage neurological and physiological processes. Nerve compressions will cause muscle tension in the head and neck and compromise nerve supply and sinus function. In addition, interference to nerve roots can affect hormone balance and dilation of blood vessels. Irritated blood vessels send pain signals to the brain, which manifests as pain around eyes, temples, face, sinus, jaw, or even neck. Tension headaches can begin when the muscles at the base of the skull or in the scalp become tense in response to nerve root irritation. These headaches are often the result of stress, anxiety, fatigue, or emotional upset. But subluxated vertebrae can magnify muscle tension to cause increased pain in the forehead, temples, or back of the head and neck.
Headaches and migraines are often the result of a poorly aligned spine, especially the vertebrae in the neck and upper back. At Apex Chiropractic, vertebral misalignments are corrected to remove nerve irritation and reduce the pain and frequency of headaches and migraines. Emotional stress can cause headaches and migraines by magnifying muscle tension, especially those at the base of the skull. Tense muscles prevent proper blood circulation. Decreased circulation prevents blood from carrying nutrients and oxygen to muscles and organs. Chiropractic care improves nerve supply to these muscles and blood vessels.
Studies show that chiropractic care like that offered at Apex Chiropractic in some individuals reduced migraine attacks by as much as 90 percent. In addition, approximately 80% of all headaches are related to neck mechanics. Chiropractic care can help you significantly reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of your migraines and other headaches without drugs or invasive procedures. Get the pain relief you deserve; call us (310) 393-9070 to make an appointment for an evaluation.