Taking care of patients with headaches is one of my favorite things to do as a chiropractor. There are many causes of headaches, but chiropractic care is extremely effective at treating all forms of headaches. The first thing your chiropractor will do is a very, very careful case history and examination. There are many things that can trigger headaches, and your chiropractor will want to understand what contributes to your headaches. We'll also do a thorough musculoskeletal exam where we can identify areas that are restricted or not moving normally. There are many techniques that chiropractors use to treat patients with headaches.
Traditional chiropractic adjustment involves a very precise, defined thrust into the spine to restore range of motion in the neck or other areas in the spine. And this can be very effective at reducing pain and increasing the range of motion very quickly. There are other non-force or gentle chiropractic techniques that chiropractors use that may involve gentle rocking motion or stretching motion or gentle pressure that can also be very effective at restoring the normal function of the spine and the nervous system associated with it to help restore range of motion and relax the muscles. Chiropractors will also use other modalities including massage, deep tissue, myofascial release or trigger point therapies that can be very helpful at relaxing the muscle spasm that's associated with headaches very often.
We'll also check TMJ and sinuses. The reflex work we can do on sinuses can be very helpful in helping to reduce sinus headaches. The most common form of headaches that people often present with is muscular tension headaches, where the muscles in the base of the spine right were the neck attaches to the cranium get very tight. And we'll work on those areas. And sometimes we'll apply other therapies like heat or ice or electric muscle stim to help increase the effectiveness of our treatment.
Your chiropractor may also make specific recommendations for home care, including nutritional recommendations for eating enough protein, eating on time, eating certain foods or not eating certain foods and drinking enough water. There may be nutritional supplements recommended for general health.
Your chiropractor will also review with you special postural considerations that are especially important for people with headaches, like how to choose the correct pillow and what position to sleep in, and how to sit at your desk or carry a shoulder bag without straining your neck and shoulder.