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Posted on 11-04-2011

 Ouch! I have a headache!


What Type of Headaches Do You Get?  Ask Leucadia Chiropractic.

    90% of the U.S. population experience occasional headache pain and 45 million people experience chronic headache pain.  Many people suffer from more than one type of headache.  Headaches can be divided into primary and secondary headaches.  Primary headaches are not related to a specific disease while secondary headaches are a symptom of another disease process.  For example, high blood pressure and sinus infections can cause headaches.  

Which types of headaches do you have?

•    Common Migraine
•    Classic Migraine
•    Hypertension
•    Cluster
•    Muscular Tension
•    Temporal Arteritis
•    Cervicogenic
•    Sinus
•    Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
•    Brain Tumor

A Chiropractic doctor can determine what type of headache you have by:

1. Obtaining a complete history to rule out secondary type headaches and rule out pathology.
2. Determining triggers and causes of headaches.
3. Assessment of the joints of the neck and upper back to identify movement restrictions and subluxations.
4. Taking x-rays and special imaging to confirm the proper headache diagnosis.

Some of the most common headaches include Migraines, Tension, Sinus, and Hypertension headaches.

Migraine headaches ( 2 types):
Common- usually occurs in childhood and early adulthood.  Patient will notice pain on one side or both sides of the head.  The headache usually gets worse as the day goes on.  Some common characteristics include photophobia, throbbing, worse pain behind one eye, nausea and/or vomiting, family history of migraines. Migraines tend to occur less frequently with advancing age and pregnancy. Common migraine triggers include bright light, chocolate, cheese, tension, red wine, menstrual cycle.
Classic- usaully occurs in childhood and early adulthood. Defining characteristic is pre-headache "aura" with the same additional characteristics and provoking factors as common migraine.
Muscular Tension headache- Can occur at any age.  Usually described as a band like pain or vise around the head.  It is characterized by pressure and muscle tightness and provoked by fatigue, faulty posture, muscular imbalance stress and work.
Cervicogenic headache- Occurs with adults.  Pain is usually at the back base of the skull or upper neck area.  It often occurs daily with decreased neck range of motion in the upper neck.  The neck pain radiates or is referred to the head.  These headaches are provoked by head movement, subluxations, and other misalignments of the neck.
Sinus headache- Occurs with any age group.  Generally localized and described as a steady throb with local tenderness and worse in the morning hours and when bending over.  
Hypertension headache- Adult onset occuring at the back of the head or vertex.  Often patients wake up at night with this headache.  Headaches will usually last 3 hrs. Patients will have elevated blood pressure.

Research has demonstrated that spinal manipulation.  The primary form of care provided by doctors of chiropractic is an effective treatment option for Tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck.  

 Researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center concluded that spinal adjustments resulted in almost immediate relief for headaches that originate in the neck, and had far fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed headache medication.

Also, a study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic manipulation 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 headache medication.

Leucadia Chiropractic will do one of the following if you suffer from a Primary headache:

•    Perform chiropractic adjustments or manipulation to improve spinal function and alleviate stress on the nervous system.
•    Provide nutritional advice, recommending a change in diet and possible supplementation.
•    Offer education and advice on proper posture, ergonomics, exercises and relaxation techniques.  This advice should help to relieve the recurring joint irritation and tension in the muscles of the neck and upper back.    By Jeremy Sontag

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