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Headaches

Naturally Treat the Cause of Your Headaches

Headaches are not the result of an aspirin shortage in your body; drugs simply cover up symptoms instead of addressing the cause of headache pain.

A frequent and overlooked cause of headaches is the malfunction of spinal bones in the neck and upper back.

When bones of the spine lose their normal position or motion, sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head can be affected.  When spinal nerves and related tissues are stretches or irritated, they can produce throbbing headaches.  Aspirin and medications may cover up these warning signs, but do not correct the underlying structural cause.

If a thorough examination reveals reduced range of motion, loss of normal spinal curves, or mechanical restrictions, chiropractic care can help you.  If your examination indicates a health problem that needs a different type of care, Dr. Winchell will refer you to the doctor right for your condition.  Either way, you will benefit from an exam with Dr. Winchell and will be on your way to living headache-free.

Types of Headaches

Tension Headaches

It is estimated that more than 80% of headaches can be blammed on stress.  Stress can be referred to both physical (like posture) or psychological (like financial worries).  No matter which type of stress is involved, your body’s response is the same.

Several of the nerves that eit the top portion of your cervical spine travel over the top of the head to the forehead.  These nerves pass through a triangle of muscles called the sucoccipital triangle.  When these muscles are irritated (from physcial or emotional stree), they tighten and pinche the nerves passing through the triangle.  This can create headache pain and pressure at the temple, forehead, bridge of the nose or behind the eye.  Tightness and pain in the upper part of the neck are often experienced with this type of headache.  Doctors call this type of headache cerviocogenic, originating from the neck.

The natural chiropractic approach to tension headache treatment involves correcting the source of the problem.  Dr. Winchell can’t remove your financial worries, but he can reverse the effect of your physical or emotional stress on your body.

Migraines

Although it has been widely recognized for over 100 years that chiropractic is effective at reducing (and often eliminating) the symptoms of migraine headaches, it was not until recently that researchers fully understood how. In fact, it took the discovery of a previously unknown anatomical structure to answer this question. A tiny ligament, about the size of the tip of a ball-point pen, was found by dental researchers that were performing anatomical dissections on cadavers. This ligament connects the uppermost bone of the spine directly to the outer layer of the spinal cord.

The researchers theorized that abnormal motion or position of this bone would likely cause tension on the spinal cord altering cerebrospinal fluid pressure in the brain. This correlates strongly with recent theories by medical researchers linking pressure changes in the brain to migraine headaches.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headache symptoms are usually characterized by pain over the sinuses behind the eyebrows and cheekbones.  Poor drainage of the sinus caviteis will often lead to an increase in sinus pressure and headache.

A natural treatment for sinus headaches involves diagnosing and treating the root of the poor drainage and chiropractic techniques that help optimize your drainage function.

Research shows that chiropractic care is effective, cost-saving and safe for headaches and migraines.

According to the American Chiropractic Association 14% of the public who see chiropractors presently go for headaches.  For these patients the good news has gotten even better.  Researchers at Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minnesota, compared chiropractic care to certain drug therapies used for tension and migraine headaches.

The study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, followed 218 headache sufferers who were given either chiropractic care or drug therapy or both.  Pain was reduced 40 – 50% in all groups initially.  However, four weeks after all care was stopped, only the chiropractic group still retained the benefits, while those who received the drug therapy lost about half of their improvement.

Tension Headache Study

This study compared a commonly prescribed drug for tension headaches to chiropractic treatment.  The implications of this study showed that chiropractic is not actually a therapy or treatment, but rather gets to the cause allowing the body to effect a correction that lasts beyond actual care.

Read more about this Tension Headache Study

Migraine Clinical Trial

A clinical trial reported in Medical-News.net on May 22, 2005 showed that 72% of migraine sufferers experienced either ‘substantial’ or ‘noticeable’ improvement after a period of chiropractic care.

Read more about this migraine clinical trial.

The Boline Headache Study

This trial compared six weeks of chiropractic care to six weeks of amitriptyline which is a commonly prescribed tension headache medication. Researchers found that chiropractic patients experienced fewer side effects and the chiropractic patients continued to report fewer headaches when treatment ended.

Click here to read the PubMed Abstract from the National Library of Medicine.

The Duke Headache Study

Researchers conclude that chiropractic results in almost immediate improvement for headaches with fewer side effects than leading prescription medication and longer-lasting relief.

The Nelson Migraine Study

This study showed long-term reduction in headache frequency experienced by chiropractic patients, as compared to those patients taking amtriptyline for migraine relief.

Click here to read the PubMed Abstract from the National Library of Medicine.