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April is Headache Awareness Month

It is no small wonder that the month that signifies the end of tax season has also been dubbed Headache Awareness Month.  I know that everyone knows what a headache IS, but most people don’t realize what causes them and how to manage them.  Of course, the drug companies will tell you what you can do to treat headaches, but what about those who want an alternative to popping pills?

Headaches are the 2nd most common cause of lost work days (behind only back pain) in the United States.  This makes headaches a problem that costs employers BILLIONS of dollars annually.  But what about missed soccer games?  Cancelled dinner plans?  An increased propensity to scream at your kids?  What is that worth?

Unfortunately, most headaches are largely ignored by the medical community at large.  If the headaches are severe enough, the doctor may order some tests to rule out a serious pathology, which is a possibility.  If those are negative, the headaches are then usually managed with pills.

However, the majority of headaches are caused by problems in the neck and upper back.  In my chiropractic practice, I see this as the most rapidly increasing spinal problem to come into the office.  This is in part due to the effect that stress has on the neck and upper back, but also the impact that prolonged sitting on the job has on these joints, as well.  And let’s face it, people are more stressed than ever before and work longer hours than they did in the past.

If your finally ready to do something about your headaches, then a consultation with a doctor of chiropractic is necessary to determine whether or not the headaches are caused by a misalignment of the neck or upper back.  Only an examination and x-ray by a licensed doctor of chiropractic will tell you whether or not you have misalignments in the neck and upper back.  Lifestyle modifications, nutritional support, and corrective exercise may need to be employed to reinforce the treatments, as well.

The worst thing you can do for a headache is ignore it.  The problem will not get better on it’s own.  Also, remember that headaches do not occur in a vacuum.  SOMETHING is causing them.  Don’t simply blame them on your job, your stress, or the weather.  Those are only triggers.  So stop making excuses.  Stop covering up your problem.  Stop missing out on life.  Get help!


Dr. PlemonDr. Jared Plemon BS, DC is a doctor of chiropractic at Zehr Chiropractic in Norton Shores, Michigan.  He specializes in the treatment of neck pain, back pain, and extremity pain utilizing cutting edge, non-manipulative chiropractic techniques.  He blogs about nutrition, exercise, and how chiropractic care fits in with the overall health landscape.  He lives in West Michigan with his wife and two children.



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