An occasional headache is an unpleasant nuisance — but chronic migraine and tension headaches can bring everything to a screeching halt. Migraines can cause incapacitating pain and are known to disrupt all aspects of life for several hours and, sometimes, days. They instigate throbbing pain, nausea, light sensitivity and vertigo.  According to statistics, 80% of the population suffers with Migraine and/or tension Headaches!   At least 18 millions women and 5 million men in the United states suffer from tension and migraine headaches.  Migraines account for 3.7 million annual sick days, at an economic cost of at least $4.5 billion (J Chin Med Assoc 2008; 71:74-8) Are you one of those people in Bozeman whose life is interrupted and affected by headache issues?

Natural Solutions for Headache Sufferers 

Chiropractors, have long been aware that spinal conditions cause headaches, including episodic migraines (JVSR 2006;1-9). Specific spinal culprits, include reduced neck mobility, forward head posture and the action of certain facial and occipital muscles (Headache 2007; 47:662-72).  Limited neck mobility and muscle injury are also associated (J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2007; 37:33-9). Many types of headaches , including migraines are accompanied by discomfort of the neck muscles (Expert Rev Neurother 2005;5:355-62). Specifically, fatigue in the neck extensor muscles (suboccipitals)  appears to be tied to headache occurrence (Eur J Pain 2007; 11:764).

In addition, if there is restricted movement in the neck, or if the spinal bones (vertebrae) in the area are slightly out of place-a common problem know as vertebral subluxation-nerves may become irritated and can induce a migraine or headaches. Research shows that chiropractic care for vertebral subluxation has clear benefits for headache sufferers whose migraines are related to dysfunction in the spine of the neck (cervical spine). (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2007;30:408-18).

Chiropractors and other health-care practitioners often recommend physical management of the neck problems that cause headaches.  In an extensive analysis of clinical trials, Harvard Medical School Researchers compared results for physical therapy, massage and other non drug options as remedies for headaches.  Outcomes showed that chiropractic adjustments were the best help for tension-type headaches and also migraine symptoms.  (Headache 2005;45:738-46).  This type of care was found to be safe, with no serious adverse events, in a review of more than 19,000 patients (Spine 2007;32:2375-8).

Limitations and Dangers of Drugs for Headaches

Many diagnosed headache suffers are directed to medication with potentially hazardous side effects.  Prescriptions range widely and include barbiturates, narcotics, serotonin receptor agonists, beta blockers and anticonvulsants.  But there are questions about the effectiveness of these drugs.  Studies indicate that over the long term, they may actually make migraine and tension headaches worse.  And they all harbor dangerous side effects. Some migraine and headache studies showed that up to 45% of participants had pain relief from what turned out to be the placebo (not the actual medication) (J Pediatr 2008; 152:527-33)  Because of this, non drug treatments should be folded into every comprehensive plan that targets Headaches and Migraines (J Am Osteopath Assoc 2007; 107: ES10-6)

If you or someone you know is one of the millions suffers from tension and/or migraine headaches, request an appointment with us today.  In Bozeman, Dr. Kimberly Maxwell at Abundant Health Family Chiropractic is THE go-to resource for the health and wellbeing of your entire family, starting with prenatal care!  Being 20 years in practice, you can trust her expertise and experience in serving you and your family, keeping you healthy, well, and wise.

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