The pain of Headache

Pain may be felt at the base of the skull, or spread throughout the surface of the head, to the face and eyes. It may be felt on one or both sides of the head. Aften other symptoms accompany headache, such as visual disturbances (blurring, flashes of light etd), nausea, facial pain, tingling, jaw tension, teeth grinding, hearing disturbances and dizziness. Many symptoms can result from one cause.

Cause

Three major categories exist:

Mechanical

Headaches are often due to poorly functioning neck joints (subluxations) which affect the nerves to the neck, head and face. Other causes may include damaged muscles and ligaments of the neck, jaw imbalance, lower spine problems and cranial dysfunction. Chiropractors can be of assistance in all of these areas. Injury leading to headache may result from major trauma such as a car or sporting accident, or from repetitive minor trauma associated with poor posture, incorrect sleeping position or poor beeding.

Emotional

Emotional stress increases muscular tension, particularly at the base of the neck, head and jaw. This can irritate nerves and upset blood flow, causing headache.

Chemical

Certain foods (e.g. chocolate, wine, beer, eggs, tomatoes), chemicals, and environmental pollutants may trigger an allergic type reaction resulting in headache.

Occasionally, headache may be a sign of a more serious condition.

The chiropractor is educated to assist in the management of headache, and refer the patient to other health practitioners when necessary.

Chiropractic approach

The chiropractor will examine and may x-ray your spine to determine its involvement in your problem. Other areas such as the jaw and skull may also be examined. A program of management will be recommended if it is considered that chiropractic care may be of benefit. After initial care to alleviate your problem, your chiropractor may recommend a suitable level of ongoing care to assist in maintaining good health and preventing future problems. Chiropractors promote body wellness, encouraging, you to keep your body at its optimum level of function so that resistance is at its peak. Looking after your spine, is just part of this overall practice and philosophy.

Prevention

The key to prevention is;

a. maintenanceofahealthylifestyle b. reductionofexternalstresses
c. early detection of problems

This may involve:

  1. Regularchiropracticcaretopromoteproperfunctionofthespine and nerves.
  2. Posture–standandsittall,concentrateonliftingtheribcage, chin slightly tucked in. Relax your shoulders and ensure that your head is not continually turned to one side. Use document stands and sloping desk surfaces where appropriate to avoid the streee of constantly looking down. Take regular rest breaks.
  3. Sleeping–donotsleeponyourstomach,tryacontouredpillow which moulds to support the curves of the neck and use a supportive mattress.
  4. Relaxation–devotetimeeachdaytoreducingtheeffectsof daily stress. Ensure that you exercise regularly.
  5. Diet–eatfreshfoods.

Remember: headaches are warning signs and not the cause of your problem. Preventive steps involving regular check-ups and minimisation of body stresses are essential.

General

Education:
Today’s chiropractor must complete a five or six year tertiary education. Studies are undertaken at the R.M.I.T. University (Melbourne or Macquarie University (Sydney). These programs prepare the chiropractor to specialise in the care of conditions related to your spine and nervous system. Chiropractors are licensed by registration acts in all states and territories.

Referral:

Chiropractic care does not require medical referral. Workers compensation and motor vehicle accident claimants are covered. Requirements vary in each state. Private health insurers rebate for chiropractic services.

Chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery

Chiropractic management aims to improve your health naturally so that your body can perform at its optimal level.