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Headache Treatment: A Aurora Chiropractor’s Perspective

woman wiht aching headDid you know that 50% of people report a headache every year and 4% of the world’s population suffers from headaches 15 or more days every month? Headaches can be triggered by a variety of things:

Emotional Stress – anxiety or depression
Medical Conditions – high blood pressure, immune system issues, colds, flu, etc.
Physical and Mechanical Issues – spinal injury and dysfunction, subluxation, nerve compression, poor posture, tight muscles, etc.
Environment – weather and allergies

At Buchar Family Chiropractic, our goal is to find out the cause of your headache so we can create a care plan unique to you.

Getting to the Root Cause

Headaches are common, but they are not normal. Any symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that it can’t adapt or accommodate to the stress being applied to it. So, if a patient is getting headaches due to weather changes or certain stresses we have to understand why the body is unable to adapt.

If the inability to adapt leads to migraines, that raises concerns about neurological damage. If headaches are coming from the spine not moving correctly or being out of alignment, those issues will not resolve until we have addressed the subluxation, spinal, or postural condition. This is why focusing on the root cause is so important.

How We Treat Headaches

#1. Comprehensive consultation and exam

We will start with a comprehensive consultation and exam. This is to know exactly what your prior history is and learn everything we can about how headaches affect you–the consistency, the duration, the intensity, the locations, and the specific things that aggravate your headaches.

#2. Digital X-rays

What differentiates chiropractic from other types of treatment is our focus on the structure of the spine and function of the nervous system, how a compressed brain stem or misaligned spinal cord could be the cause of chronic pain. That’s why digital X-rays are so important to us.

We focus on the upper cervical spine, C1 and C2 that may compress the spinal cord as well as the alignment of disc spaces and any arthritis or degeneration we see due to curvature or posture issues.

#3. Specific chiropractic care

Based on the results of the exams, neurological tests, and X-rays we can create the most specific care plan for you. Chiropractic is considered one of the safest treatments for headaches and has one of the highest ratings of customer satisfaction. In our office, we see improvement almost 100% of the time. That doesn’t always mean a complete resolution–though that is very common–but a reduction in the severity, frequency, and duration of symptoms.

#4. Massage therapy or soft tissue work

Incorrect posture or structural imbalances can cause undue stress and tension on your muscles, contributing to headaches that travel through your neck and upper back. Through massage therapy, Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) a soft tissue massage technique, and trigger point work we can loosen those muscles.

#5. Custom therapeutic exercise plan

Our goal is to increase muscle strength to improve imbalances specifically when it comes to forward head posture. In many instances, like upper crossed syndrome, the body is dealing with a combination of weakness and tightness that causes certain muscles to be overworked and placed under unnecessary stress.

In the office, we’ll be doing corrective exercises–from cervical traction and VibePlate work to Denneroll and static traction–to help increase strength and flexibility.

#6. Cervical spinal decompression

We use spinal decompression for patients that have a moderate to severe cervical disc bulge or herniation which could be compressing the nerve or nerve root, causing radicular symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness in the arm, or shooting pain down the back.

#7. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is based on the Chinese perspective of the meridian lines. It tells the body where there’s an issue of inflammation. The body can then send blood to that area to decrease inflammation and increase healing. Acupuncture can also decrease muscle tension and trigger points.

#8. Nutritional supplementation

Dr. Justin Coop, a functional medicine chiropractor, has a vast amount of nutritional knowledge and experience. He’ll examine how certain dietary habits are affecting your health. We want to approach whole body health through a nutritional perspective unique to you, rather than just a general elimination diet.

Common Types of Headaches


Tension headaches are described as mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band around your head. It’s the most common type of headache because it can be caused by muscle tightness, trigger points and spinal dysfunction. Forward head posture, a loss in the cervical curve, greatly increases the risk of tension headaches.

Migraine pain can be throbbing or pulsing. It can be very extreme, usually on one side of the head, causing nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. You may see auras and your vision may get less clear. Getting a chiropractic adjustment or turning off the lights or finding ways to decrease stress can be very effective.

A tension headache that goes untreated can get worse and eventually turn into a migraine. Women are more susceptible to migraines.

One of the most painful types of headaches, though not as common, is a cluster headache. These can awaken you in the middle of the night with pain in or around one eye or on one side. Headaches will come in cluster periods that can last weeks to months followed by remission.

An allergy or sinus headache is quite common as well, described by pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. These can be caused by a sinus infection, inflammation from arteries, or an increase in fluid in the sinus cavities.

A cervicogenic headache originates in the neck, but the pain is felt in the head. They are usually secondary headaches to some other causes of infection or injury. Cervicogenic headaches usually start in the back of the head and wrap around to the front with accompanied pain and stiffness in the neck.

FAQ

When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?

As soon as you possibly can. The medical treatments are usually going to be anywhere from drugs to BOTOX® to physical therapy which have advantages, but they can have severe disadvantages. Chiropractic care has such a high probability of improvement and very low risk, that a chiropractor should be seen as soon as possible.

Do medical doctors recommend chiropractors for headaches?

It’s getting more and more common and that’s just coming from medical doctors learning more about chiropractic and how it actually works. Any practitioner is going to recommend what you are more accustomed to or more familiar with. But over time, medical doctors are getting more and more open to chiropractic.

Is chiropractic effective for migraines?

We see hundreds of patients in our office for migraines. And we see a high likelihood for improvement. Very often we see the issue resolve and this is with no drugs or medication; chiropractic changes patients’ lives for the better!

What are some natural ways to relieve tension headaches?

The following may be helpful: applying moist heat to relax the muscles; doing static at-home neck traction to release the muscles or an occipital release type of technique. Also ensuring your head is supported while sleeping, with a slight curve, is helpful.

Book an Appointment

If you suffer from headaches, we want to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!


Headaches Treatment Aurora IL | (630) 820-1330