Headaches are very common. Almost everyone has had an experience with headaches. They may range anywhere from mild and achy to severe and painful. As many as 90 percent of the population suffers from headaches. A person’s life quality and well being can be negatively impacted by headaches, especially if they are severe. Some headaches, such as migraines, cause you to have to lie down in a dark room until the pain subsides. Headaches also come along with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and odor.
Headaches are difficult to diagnose because they have such a wide range of symptoms, and they impact each person differently. Also, there are a number of different causes. Research reveals that 1 out of every 7 people with a headache end up at the ER for pain relief.
Medical Testing Over-Ordered for Headaches
Headaches are often linked to more serious health problems. Therefore, medical doctors feel compelled to do a variety of different tests to rule out specific conditions, such as strokes. Many doctors fear a malpractice lawsuit if they do not insist on performing certain tests like MRI’s and CT scans. However, this unnecessarily exposes their patients to radiation that could probably have been avoided. Ordering these imagining scans is the second most costly decision an ER doctor makes only after whether or not a patient should be admitted to the hospital.
Another dangerous thing being done with migraine patients is prescribing medications without first trying a more natural approach. Many medications come with unwanted and unsafe side effects. Thankfully, there is a natural way to care for headaches, and it has proven to be successful. We will discuss this later in this article. First, let’s look at the different kinds of headaches.
What Kinds of Headaches Are There?
- Cluster headaches: These headaches afflict both men and women and are quite rare. They do not happen frequently, but when they do, they are very severe. It is theorized these headaches occur due to a brain or nerve irregularity. They appear consistently over a period of time, unlike migraines or tension headaches. You may experience intense pain that starts in the eyes and on the side of the head. You may also feel extremely exhausted.
- Cervicogenic headaches: This is also called a neck headache and starts in the back of the head or neck and gradually moves to the forehead. It then affects the eye and ear. These headaches are persistent and occur with different intensity. They are often mistaken as a migraine or even a tension headache. They are due to cervical spine issues or damage to the first 3 cervical nerves exiting the spinal cord. These headaches are seen most often in women.
- Migraines: These headaches often begin in the morning with pounding and throbbing head pain which gets worse when you move. You may have nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, noise, and smells, visual disturbances, and dizziness, to mention just a few symptoms. A common trigger for migraines is stress. They also may be linked to hormonal changes, insomnia, smoking, and not eating regularly.
- Sinus headaches: These headaches occur in the sinus area and gradually spread to between the eyes. If you bend forward or move your head your pain may become worse. If you do not have nasal discharge, then you probably do not have a sinus headache. Migraines are often mistaken for sinus headaches. If your vision is disturbed in some way, you probably have a sinus headache.
- TMJ headaches: This is a chronic headache condition that affects as many as 75 million people. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular jaw. It is caused by the tension that is created by the contraction of the muscles in the jaw. Teeth grinding is a symptom, as is tension in the jaw, shoulders, and neck.
- Tension headaches: This is the most common headache type. It affects the neck, cheeks, temple, and forehead. It usually lasts for a few hours. People with this type of a headache feel a tightness in their neck and head. They describe it like a vice gripping the forehead. The pain is usually tolerable and allows you to go about your daily routine. These headaches come on in the morning or the evening.
Natural, Effective Relief for Headaches
There is a common link between the above-mentioned headaches. They can all be caused by a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. The C1 and C2 vertebrae were specially designed to protect the delicate spinal cord and brainstem. However, if the bones have moved out of place due an accident or injury, they can actually put the brainstem under stress and lead to it sending improper signals to the brain. A misalignment can also act as a blockage to the vital flow of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to and from the brain. This can lead to intracranial pressure or lack of proper oxygen-rich blood getting to the brain. By correcting the misalignment, the body’s fluid flow can be regulated, and communication between the body and brain can be restored.
Here at Zehr Chiropractic in Norton Shores, Michigan, we use a gentle method that does not require us to pop or crack the back or neck. Rather, we encourage the bones to move back into place naturally. This technique was used in a case study that observed 100 people with headaches and migraines. All of them reported a great improvement in their headaches, some in just two or three adjustments. Many saw their headaches and migraines go away and not return.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.