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How Chiropractors Can Help With Headaches

Jim Dubel demonstrating adjustment protocals
Jim Dubel demonstrating adjustment protocals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“So how bad or serious can a headache be?” you may ask your chiropractor or physician. And, like Brian M. Grosberg, M.D., tells Margery D. Rosen from AARP, they will tell you, that: “Ninety-five percent of the time, even an agonizing headache is not serious and doesn’t mean you have a brain tumor…An over-the-counter pain reliever, a cup of coffee or a nap usually brings relief.” Grosberg, definitely knows what he is talking about, considering that, he is the Associate Professor of Neurology at the ‘Albert Einstein College of Medicine’ in New York and the Co-Director of its ‘Montefiore Headache Center.’

Unique Headaches Require Special Attention from a Chiropractor or a Neurologist

However, where unique headaches like – ‘persistent headaches,’ ‘migraines,’ ‘retinal migraines,’ and ‘cluster headaches’ –are concerned, any expert chiropractor, physician or neurologist, will agree- that these can often be rather debilitating!  As Dr. Rachel Nardin, chair of neurology at ‘Cambridge Health Alliance,’ tells MedicineNet.com.  “…Migraines are a whole-system disease. People with migraines are really out of commission…They have to lie down and sleep for several hours. People with migraines lose an average of four days of work a year, and that doesn’t include the toll it takes on them as productive members of their family or church.”

According to a report published by Katie Gilbert, in Psychology Today, “Chiropractors believe that some migraines originate in the spine. Often a misalignment of the vertebrae, or subluxation, can irritate the nerves that travel the length of the spine to the brain. This misalignment makes a person more prone to chemical imbalances in the brain.” In such cases, “Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck,” the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states, emphasizing the role of a chiropractor in curing unique headache conditions.

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Gritting Your Teeth Can Cause Tension Headache’ Warn Chiropractors

‘When suffering from such conditions, it is better to see a chiropractor instead of gritting your teeth, popping pills and hoping that your migraine or cluster headache will go away!’ declares the ACA.  When cautioning you against ‘gritting your teeth in the event of a headache,’ the ACA is not using it as a form of linguistic expression, but in fact is serious! “… 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,” it states.

Knowledge of Spinal Manipulation Enables a Chiropractor to Ease Headaches

“Today, Americans engage in more sedentary activities than they used to, and more hours are spent in one fixed position or posture. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back and scalp, causing your head to ache,” Dr. George B. McClelland, a chiropractor from Christiansburg, VA, is quoted as saying, on the ACA website. “The greatest majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension in the neck,” he states and asserts that, a chiropractor, given his extensive training in the sphere, is in the best position to provide relief from problems created by spinal tension.

Ways in Which a Chiropractor Can Provide Relief

A chiropractor can help cure and alleviate headaches, using a variety of ways. According to Dr. McClelland, these range from: ‘performing spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate stress on the system;  to providing nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and may be even prescribing B complex vitamins.’ This apart, chiropractors also advise patients on – getting their postures right-while at home and at work; on the appropriate exercises they should perform; and the effective relaxation techniques they should practice. It is believed that either or a combination of these works to ease stress on their spines and provide relief from headaches!

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This article was written by Michael Hayes, a chiropractor specializing in pain relief.

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