Dr. J Coy Dean – Back In Action Chiropractic, Friendswood, Texas

Migraine, Cluster and Tension Headache Information

Some information below from ACA, American Chiropractic Association’s website regarding headaches is informative and can help you manage your headaches.

Statistics show that nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. There are many types of headaches that vary from the occasional to the more frequent. Some headaches are dull and throbbing and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

Research shows that spinal manipulation – the primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic – may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication.

Also, a 1995 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is an effective treatment for tension headaches and that those who ceased chiropractic treatment after four weeks experienced a sustained therapeutic benefit in contrast with those patients who received a commonly prescribed medication.

Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. These types of headaches are not caused by disease. The headache itself is the primary concern.

The ACA suggests the following:

  • If you spend a large amount of time in one fixed position, such as in front of a computer, on a sewing machine, typing or reading, take a break and stretch every 30 minutes to one hour. The stretches should take your head and neck through a comfortable range of motion.
  • Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches, avoid heavy exercise. Engage in such activities as walking and low-impact aerobics.
  • Avoid teeth clenching. The upper teeth should never touch the lowers, except when swallowing. This results in stress at the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) – the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull – leading to TMJ irritation and a form of tension headaches.
  • Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help avoid dehydration, which can lead to headaches.

Chiropractic care includes the performing of spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments to improve spinal function and alleviate the stress on your system. Misalignment and malfunction of spinal bones in the neck and upper back can be a cause of headaches. Blood vessels and sensitive nerves of the head and neck can be affected when bones lose their normal position or motion. Throbbing headaches can result when spinal nerves and related tissues are stretched or irritated. Aspirin and medications can cover up these warning signs, but do not correct the underlying structural cause. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) can cause certain types of headaches. ANS regulates the blood flow around the neck and head and can greatly benefit from the appropriate care of these areas. ANS can be? From spinal manipulation of the neck and/or upper back.

In Friendswood, Dr. J Coy Dean at Back in Action Chiropractic will determine after a thorough examination reveals reduced range of motion, loss of normal spine curves, or mechanical restrictions what type of care will be helpful in relieving your symptoms. Dr. J Coy Dean will discuss a unique care plan that will be designed for your spinal problems. He will discuss and explain your condition.  Back In Action Chiropractic uses ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, TENS units, massage therapy, stretching, exercises, ice, heat and acupuncture to relieve headache symptoms. There may be a need for a neurological consult for further management and/or cooperative treatment for your headaches.

Most people suffer from tension headaches and they are the most common type of. Tension headaches are usually due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. These headaches are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to suffer from tension headaches if you work too much, don’t get adequate sleep, skip meals or use alcohol.

Chiropractors also provide nutritional advice and they recommend high quality nutritional supplements and vitamins to help your body to perform at its maximum. Chiropractors offer complimentary and alternative therapies for headache pain, including tension, migraine, and cluster headaches. Your doctor will also discuss ways to improve your posture while at work and play. They will offer techniques for exercise and relaxation.

Your visits to your Chiropractor should help relieve headaches and lesson tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.

Contact Dr. J Coy Dean, Back In Action Chiropractic, Friendswood, Texas at 281-648-0001 for more information or to schedule your appointment. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.

Things You Can Do To Minimize the Frequency of Headaches

 STRESS

In our quest to accomplish all of our goals in our daily routines, we do not realize the impact that this has on our bodies. While trying to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle, it is virtually impossible to eliminate stress completely from our daily lives. If you can try to incorporate simple techniques that will help minimize the impact that stress has on your life, you can lessen the effect that stress has on your health. By adding deep breathing exercises, meditation, and exercise regularly to your daily routine can help relieve stress. Try making some lifestyle changes by leaving work on time, make sure you make time for family and friends, and include time for leisure activities and keeping a sense of humor also helps relieve stress.

 DIET

Our diets are a place that we can also modify to help minimize the frequency of headaches. There are certain foods that can be avoided to help with this task. Make note of foods that you eat that cause headaches shortly after you eat them. There are also some foods that give you headaches only if you eat a certain quantity of it. Some foods (like hotdogs) contain nitrates that may not bother you until you eat too much of it. You can try reducing your intake of caffeine, chocolate, nitrates (preserved meats), fermented foods, alcohol (including wine) and foods that contain MSG and artificial sweeteners.

 Sleep Schedule

Another area that can play a critical role in controlling headaches is your sleep schedule including waking and sleeping times. Common headache trigger is sleep deprivation and oversleeping. Try and make an effort to regulate and normalize your sleep patterns.

 Mealtimes

Mealtime schedules should be maintained by eating at regular intervals. Carry snacks with you so you can avoid missed meals.

 Smoking

Avoiding cigarettes and second hand smoke can help decrease the frequency of headaches. Quitting cigarettes can help by eliminating the impurities and the carbon monoxide levels found in the blood of smokers. Quitting smoking may not eliminate your headaches entirely; however it can help decrease their frequency.