What is the natural approach to treating headaches?
Prescription and over the counter drugs are one of the number one treatments for headaches. These treatments fro a headache just mask the symptoms they do not treat them. There is a better way of treating headaches and migraines and it is the natural approach.
The natural approach includes the removal of the trigger for the headache. There are may different types of triggers for a headache and the first step is to figure out what type of headache you have. Some of these triggers include food allergies, inadequate sleep, lack of stress management, too much coffee,and there are many more. These are all common triggers and can be easily treated. It is important to pro-actively manage your headache and migraine symptoms.
If you would like to manage your headaches conservatively one of the first steps is to have your spine checked by a chiropractor for spinal misalignment or subluxations. Subluxations can act as a mechanical stresses or trigger for your headaches, by irritating the central nervous system. Upper cervical subluxations can alter blood flow to the brain or mechanically irritate the meningeal covering of the brain by pulling on it. The axis or C1 vertebra is directly connected to the meningeal covering of the brain by small fibers called arachnid fibers. These small web like fibers can irritate the meningeal covering and this is the only place were pain is felt in the head the brain has no pain fibers.
While a chiropractor will focus on the spine and central nervous system they will also look at the condition systemically. A chiropractor will look for other triggers including chemical and emotional causes. The complexities of the human body can be difficult and just because the pain is in your head that dose not mean that that is were the problem is.
In addition to traditional chiropractic care a lab work up may be needed to find out if you have any nutritional deficiencies.
There are many types of headaches so lets learn a little more about headaches.
Almost ever person must deal with headaches at some point in their life, but there headaches may be very different. Headache pain itself may range from sharp to dull and may last a few days or a few minutes. Most headaches are not serious but those that are require immediate medical attention. Headaches and migraines affect over 25 million Americans each year and include men, women and children. There are over 300 types of headaches in all and each has a unique presentation and symptom set. Most people suffer from three common types.
The first type is the tension headache.
75% of all headache sufferer have tension headaches. Tension headaches are by far the most common. The symptoms usually include a constant dull, achy feeling and may be experienced on one side or both sides of the head. This headache is often described as a dull band of pain around the head and behind the eyes. Tension headaches often come on slowly and gradually increase in intensity throughout the day, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several days. They tend to begin in the middle or toward the end of the day. Often the pain of tension headaches are sever but are not often associated with symptoms, such as nausea, throbbing or vomiting.
The next most common type is the migraine headache.
In America 25 million people experience migraine headaches each year. Many of these people experience them more than once and the majority of migraine sufferers are women. These symptoms last from as a few hours to as long as a few days, and many of those who suffer from migraines experience visual symptoms called an aura. Just prior to a migraine the aura is often experienced and is described as flashing lights or a dream-like appearance. Even in people who don’t experience the classic migraine aura, most of them can tell that an attack is immanent. Migraines are caused by a constriction of the blood vessels in the brain. These constricted blood vessels irritate the meningeal covering of the brain. This increased pressure leads to a pounding like sensation inside the head. Life style changes are often need to avoid migraine attaches.
The last of the common headache types is the cluster headache.
What is a cluster headache? This headache type is typically very short in duration, excruciating pain, and is usually felt on one side of the head behind the eyes. What is a cluster headache? Around one million people suffer from cluster headaches, in the united states. Unlike migraines, are much more common in men and is the only type of headache that tends to occur at night. There are often months or years between attaches of cluster headaches and, like migraines, cluster headaches are likely to be related to a dilation of the blood vessels in the brain, causing a localized increase in pressure.
What are the medical approaches to headache treatment?
The simple answer is drugs. The medical approach often is the use of prescription and over the counter medications. The over the counter drugs include such as aspirin, Tylenol, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. The prescription strength headache drugs are typically triptans, steroids, antidepressants, opioids, and anti-convulsive. Medications only mask the symptoms they do not cure the cause of the headache or identify the trigger. Additionally drugs are toxic and may have long-term effects on the kidneys and liver. In addition they can be expensive and they have numerous side effects, such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, high blood pressure, weight gain, mood swings, dependency, addiction, worsening of headaches (rebound), itching, respiratory problems, weakened immune system, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, difficulty urinating, impotence, blurry vision and in the most sever cases death.
By: Paul R. Mahler Jr. DC
Mahler Family Chiropractic Center
1144 wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA. 18704
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We can treat headaches and we can treat migraines.