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Headache Help Through Chiropractic
By Dr. Deanna Minkler
Reprinted from The Spinal Column: Tips and News from the Sauganash Wellness Center
If you suffer from headaches, a chiropractic spinal checkup and massage are two of the best things you
can do. Chiropractic and massage are safe, gentle,
and drugless, and have helped millions of headache
sufferers over the years. Yet chiropractic and massage do not claim to be a headache treatment and cure — they have a different approach to health
Doctors of Chiropractic free your body from
the vertebral subluxation complex, or VSC, that has
the power to destroy your health. It affects millions
of us — it is a hidden epidemic. When freed of
subluxations, your body works more efficiently to use
its natural energies to heal itself. Massage therapists
aid the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, and
tendons) into a natural and relaxed state. How is
this accomplished? Read on.
Types of Headaches
- Cervical Origin Headaches
the neck due to such things as subluxations, muscle
spasm and nerve irritation.
- Tension Headaches
Pain comes from
irritated or inflamed soft tissues of the neck and
head, primarily muscles, nerve endings and their
connective tissues that can develop into trigger
- Vascular Headaches
irritation and inflammation of the blood vessels of
the brain caused by a variety of diseases (fevers,
drugs, poisons, toxins, altered pH, nerve irritation,
- Migraine Headaches
vascular phenomenon of disabling proportions caused
by a complex interaction between the nervous
system, the hormonal system, and the affected
vascular segment. Many times preceded by a
prodrome or "warning signal" such as nausea, visual
or speech disturbance, numbness, or dizziness.
- Cluster Headaches
headaches because the headaches come in groups.
Pain generally lasts from 30-45 minutes, but can
persist for several hours. Most sufferers experience
one to four headaches a day during a cluster period.
- Organic Headaches
headache, hangover headache, allergy headache,
caffeine withdrawal headache, pregnancy
headaches, hypertension (high blood pressure)
headaches, TMJ (jaw) dysfunction, reading
headaches, hypoglycemic (low blood sugar)
headaches. May also be due to tumors, brain
aneurysm, hematoma, meningitis, brain abscess, etc.
- Rebound Headaches
Due to the overuse
of medications (exceeding label instructions or
doctor's advice). Precipitates a "rebound" into
another headache. This is particularly true if your
medication contains caffeine.
What Puts the Ache In Headache?
The ache in headache does not come from the
brain. It's true! Your brain can feel no sensation.
Even during brain surgery the patient is often wide
awake feeling no pain, even talking to the doctors
while his/her brain is being tampered with (a local
anesthetic numbs the scalp).
What puts the "ache" in your headache? Veins and
arteries inside the brain and skull, membranes that
wrap around the brain,
and certain nerves in the head called cranial nerves.
When these are pulled, stretched, compressed,
irritated, inflamed or infected, headaches often
Headache treatment depends on what caused it. A
headache arising from visual problems can often be
cured by eyeglasses. An infection headache of the
sinuses or ears is relieved when the infection
subsides. But the most common headaches are
usually treated with painkillers. The hundreds of
millions of dollars spent each year on everything from
aspirin to Tylenol to prescription drugs may provide
blessed relief, but please remember — the pain
may be gone but the cause of the headache is not
corrected! That's why we may see millions of
people swallowing pills for years, possibly suffering
from the side effects of long-term medication use — and not getting any better, only temporarily
feeling better. Surely, that's not a healthy
way to live.
The Chiropractic and Massage
Millions of headache sufferers are turning to the
natural, drugless, chiropractic and massage approach
to health. Chiropractors are the only healing
professionals who are trained to analyze and correct
the vertebral subluxation complex — a spinal
that can damage your nerves, inflame your tissues,
cause muscles to tighten and knot, weaken your
body, cause fatigue, and set the stage for sickness
and disease. It is truly a hidden epidemic.
Massage addresses tension headaches by relaxing
the neck, shoulders, and upper back. As we relax, we
soften our muscles and headaches disappear.
headaches are the easiest headaches for us to
Sinus headaches are best addressed by face
massage. As the sinus cavities become relaxed, the
fluids that are trapped in these spaces release and
begin to flow, allowing us to drain and cleanse the
sinuses. There are simple techniques that any
experienced massage professional can teach you to
allow you to release these cavities yourself.
massages, you will find relief with a few minutes of
self-massage done on a regular basis.
Migraine headaches can be caused by either
impingement of the nerves in the neck or by chemical
imbalances. Massage can address the impinged nerve
problem by releasing the Levator Scapulae Muscles
and other neck musculature.
The Chiropractic Checkup
Just as you may have a cavity in your teeth and be
unaware of the damage it's causing, so the VSC may
be causing serious harm to your body -- sometimes
for years -- without your knowledge.
Using her hands, possibly x-ray, and other
instruments to analyze your spine, Dr. Deanna will
determine if you have VSC. Then using special
techniques, she may perform a spinal adjustment to
correct the vertebral subluxation complex, removing
the nerve pressure and spinal distortions. You may
then see the massage therapist, Rachel and/or Liz,
to treat the muscular and other soft tissue
components of your condition.
To Restore Itself
Remember, the purpose of the chiropractic spinal
adjustment is to remove the nerve and spinal stress
caused by the vertebral subluxation complex. The
purpose of massage therapy is to restore the soft
tissues to a normal, relaxed state. This permits your
body to restore itself to a greater level of health and
wholeness -- in effect, to better heal itself.
The Spine and Headaches
Researchers have often noted the relationship
between the spine and many types of headaches.
For example, one study of 6,000 long-term (two to
25 years) headache sufferers revealed that neck
injury (whiplash, falls) was the most important factor
in the cause of the headache and should be
suspected in every nonspecific cause of headache.
If you suffer from headaches, make sure your spine
and muscles are healthy — come to Sauganash
Adapted from Koren
Headache treatment depends on what caused it.
migraine headaches can be caused
by either impingement of the nerves in the neck or
by chemical imbalances. Massage can address the
impinged nerve problem by releasing the Levator
Scapulae Muscles and other neck musculature.
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