June 8, 2020 | Lauren Tortorici, DC
Oftentimes Headache Pain is Coming From the Neck
Headaches are extremely common, affecting nearly half of the population. Headaches can be caused by any number of factors, including dehydration, lack of proper sleep, stress, poor posture, hunger, certain foods or drinks, and hormonal changes. Those suffering from headaches typically also have underlying issues in the neck, including muscle tightness or weakness, trigger points, and joint stiffness. In fact, studies show that up to 25% of all headaches are actually coming from the neck, even if no neck pain is being experienced. Even when neck issues aren’t the only cause of the headache, they are often a contributing factor and can trigger painful flare ups. For example, neck joint stiffness and muscle tightness are known to cause migraine flare ups.
Chiropractic Treatment Has Been Shown to Improve Headache Symptoms
The first step to treating a headache is to identify the underlying cause. Through specific questioning and muscle and joint testing, your chiropractor will be able to determine whether issues in the neck are contributing to your headache. Chiropractic treatment for headaches commonly includes chiropractic adjustments, joint mobilization, massage, postural correction, and therapeutic exercises to strengthen and stretch muscles in the neck. Your chiropractor can also help you make changes to your sleep posture and workstation setup to minimize flare ups in headache pain.
Tips for Headache Home Care
If you are chronically suffering from headaches, it is important to make an appointment with your chiropractor or primary care physician so that they can identify the underlying cause of your headaches and rule out any rare but serious conditions. When you are experiencing a headache, it is important to make sure you are drinking enough water. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Studies show that specific muscle strengthening and stretching exercises can help treat headache pain and prevent future flare ups. One of our favorite exercises to recommend to patients is Shower Range of Motion, which can help make sure your neck is moving the way it should. While showering, stand so that the warm water is hitting the base of your neck. Slowly and gently turn your head from side to side for 10 repetitions. Then repeat this exercise tilting your head side to side for 10 repetitions. The warm water will help loosen your neck muscles and improve your range of motion.
If you or someone you know is suffering from headaches, we are here to help. Chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment for most types of headaches. Contact our office today to learn more or schedule an appointment.
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