McDermott Chiropractic Care, P.C.
141 Main Street
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
Headaches and Chiropractic Adjustments
When the general public considers treatments for headaches, the most obvious treatment is over-the-counter pain medication or prescriptions. Chiropractic is commonly overlooked, despite the fact that it is a very effective treatment with no side effects. A headache is one of my most preferred conditions to treat. Patients will often feel relief within a week; and if the episodes of headache continue, they are less intense and fewer in number. In many cases, patients no longer need medication.
What Is Actually Hurting In the Head?
The link between chiropractic care and resolving headaches is understood anatomically. When considering the structures in the head that can actually ache or sense pain, it becomes apparent that manual manipulation can correct the offending biomechanical dysfunction. Pain sensing structures of the head are bone, sinuses and vasculature, to name a few. The cranium and all bones that create the skull are highly innervated and thus, very sensitive to pain. These bones can become the source of irritation when any of the attached muscles are imbalanced and go into spasm as a result of poor posture and repetitive use.
The sinuses are cavities within the bone. A sinus infection causes pressure that is sensed within the bone. Blood vessels are also sensitive to pain. When there are fluctuations in blood pressure, vessel walls are sensitive to that change and become irritated. Also, other biomechanical stressors such as abnormalities in muscles and skeletal alignment can affect blood vessels.
Referred pain is a common cause of headache. Through interconnections of nerves throughout different structures in the head and neck, the pain often manifests as a headache. Common referral patterns originate from structures such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, improper motion of the cervical spine or neck, and muscles of the head and neck.
How chiropractic corrects the cause.
So how does a chiropractic adjustment affect these structures and alleviate the headache? With regards to the skull and cervical spine, it is important to understand the biomechanics of the offending structures. A chiropractic adjustment restores normal function to any joint (e.g. TMJ or cervical spine), and relaxes the muscles surrounding the joint. Also, for sinus relief, there is a technique involving pressure to the sinuses that will initiate drainage and relieve the pain. Blood pressure can be treated nutritionally as well as medicinally.
A positive response with various types of headaches.
No matter the type of headache, chiropractic is a safe, non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatment from which many sufferers find relief. Additionally, migraine sufferers have been shown to enjoy reduction in headaches from chiropractic care.