Oh My Aching Head!
It’s back again – that dull steady pain that starts at the back of your head and moves forward, making you feel as though your head is being squeezed in a vice.
Sometimes it lasts for a half hour, other times it may last for weeks on end. Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, affect nearly 40% of all adults and teenagers, making them the most common type of headache.
Tension headache causes include stress, hormones, depression, fatigue, dehydration, holding your head in the same position for long periods of time (i.e., working at a computer, performing research using a microscope, and other types of “close” work), anxiety, TMJ, and spinal conditions, such as degenerative disc disease or arthritis.
So what do you do when you experience this type of headache? Do you pop a few pain relievers and go to bed? Grin and bear it? Take a prescription pain pill? Do you realize that these so-called solutions to your pain only address the symptom (the pain) and not the cause of your headaches? Do you realize that chronic pill popping can actually cause more headaches (known as the “rebound effect)? Are these “solutions” really working for you?
Headaches are the most common condition for which patients seek help from chiropractors. Why? Because chiropractic has shown impressive results in reducing both the number and the duration of tension headaches.
A recent study, conducted by Dr. Niels Nilsson of Odense University in Denmark, and Dr. Geoffrey Bove of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, examined the impact of chiropractic treatment on headaches. The researchers found that chiropractic adjustments often decrease the frequency and length of headaches as well as the number of painkillers needed for relief.
Chiropractic care seeks to discover the cause of your headaches; it doesn’t just address symptoms, hoping that they’ll go away. Tension headaches are often the result of muscle tension in the neck, and chiropractors are trained to locate and correct this muscle tension which can wreak havoc on your nervous system, causing problems throughout your body.