Chiropractic For Treating Headaches – Does It Work?
An aspirin is something we often turn to during a headache, but an aspirin merely works to mask the pain. The pain does not go away; it is still there. While an aspirin may be an effective way for some to treat headaches, for other popping pills just doesn’t cut it… so they turn to chiropractic. But does chiropractic work for treating headaches?
What Does The Research Say?
In 2001, researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, North Carolina noticed the patients who had undergone chiropractic treatment felt relief significantly faster after undergoing spinal adjustment, the primary technique used in chiropractic. Also, a 1995 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics shows that people who had received chiropractic care but had stopped still showed tremendous benefits four weeks after stopping treatment. This is largely different from pill-based treatment, which requires the patient to take in a suggested dose on a regular basis to mask the pain.
Chiropractic and Headaches Resulting from Muscular Tension
Tension headaches are usually caused by muscle contractions in the head, neck, and shoulder muscles. They are one of the most common headaches experienced by most Americans and are often caused by emotional stress that lead to stiffness in the muscles and joints. Tension headaches, if not properly treated, can lead to a vicious circle of more muscular tension leading to more intense headaches. Chiropractic adjustment, along with other natural therapies such as trigger point therapy, massage therapy, and other relaxation techniques, can be employed to treat tension headaches because it restores the proper alignment of the spine at the same time releases the built-up tension in the muscles.
Chiropractic and Headaches Resulting from Vascular Problems
Headaches that arise due to abnormalities in the vascular system are more commonly known as migraines. Although many Americans experience at least one migraine over the course of their lives, nobody knows the exact reason why they exist. Medical studies have shown that migraines are triggered by a change in the hormones arising from exposure to food, smells, changes in the weather, and even emotional stress. Exactly why these factors cause a hormonal change is yet to be studied, though.
When these changes in the body’s hormone levels occur, the blood vessels located in the head dilate, causing other symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual auras, followed by a severe headache that cannot be treated effectively or even disguised by aspirin and other over-the-counter medications. Here comes the role of chiropractic adjustment, which is also well-known to be an effective neurological release therapy because the adjustments in the spinal vertebrae frees up more space for the nervous system to flow through the body without restraint. Thus, through spinal manipulation combined with other therapies, migraine headaches can be treated and even prevented effectively.