Headaches come in many different varieties and severities but fortunately most of them respond very well to chiropractic treatment. The nerves that supply the head, face, and neck branch off of the upper cervical area, so neck pain and headaches commonly go hand in hand. Regardless of the cause of the neck pain and headaches, conservative approaches like chiropractic are vastly superior to medication in terms of providing a longer-term solution while also having none of the side effects commonly associated with long term NSAIDS usage (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin) such as stomach ulcers, liver, and/or kidney damage.
The most common type of neck pain and headaches is the tension headache. This is characterized by pain and tightness along the back of the head at the base of the skull that can often radiate around the side of the head to the temple or eye. These headaches usually come from poor posture such as forward head posture, rounded or forward shoulders, and the loss of the normal curve in the neck resulting in an abnormal stretch and tightness in the muscles that support the head. This is usually seen in patients that perform a lot of work at a desk or a computer or in-patient populations that spend a lot of time looking downward such as stay at home parents with small children or teachers.
Tension headaches are typically treated in our office with a combination of mobilization to reduce irritation to the joints and nerves of the neck and physical therapy to change the posture that causes them which results in a more long-term correction. Other types of neck pain and headaches such as migraines respond very well to cold laser treatment which helps reduce blood flow, swelling, and inflammation to the skull and brain, reducing the severity and length of these symptoms.