Did you know nearly three-fourths of all headaches are tension headaches - also called stress headaches. These create a dull soreness around the temples, behind the eyes on one or both sides and/or tension and pain at the base of the skull. Tension headaches can even cause pain or discomfort in your jaw or the top of your head. These and other tension headache symptoms often result from excessively tight neck and upper back muscles, poor posture, stress, prolonged computer work, etc. Often the imbalance in muscles in the neck and upper back can lead to misalignments in the spine which can further exacerbate the headaches. The GOOD NEWS is that Graston Technique and adjustments can be very effective at managing and eliminating these headaches.
Some migraine sufferers have a cause to their migraines - others are more difficult to uncover. Not all migraine causes are fully understood but genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role.
Many common migraine triggers include the following (just one may be the cause or any combination):
- Hormonal changes in women. Changes in estrogen, such as before or during menstrual periods, during pregnancy or during menopause - seem to be a common trigger in many women. Some medications including hormonal medications such as oral contraceptives can also worsen migraines in some women.
- Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and too much caffeine including coffee and pop can be triggers for some.
- Mental stress. Excess stress at work or at home can contribute to or cause migraines.
- Sleep changes. Too much or not enough sleep can trigger migraines in some people.
- Sensory stimuli. Loud noises, bright or flashing lights, strong smells (such as perfume, painting, new carpet, cigarette smoke, etc.) can trigger migraines in some folks.
- Physical activity. Intense physical exertion, including exercise or sexual activity, might provoke migraines in some.
- Foods. Any food can be a trigger for any migraine sufferer but several common troublesome foods include aged cheeses, salty foods and processed foods. Some migraines are triggered by skipping meals in a person not accustomed to intermittent fasting.
- Food additives. Artificial colors, artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame), preservatives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), etc. can be triggers.
- Weather changes. A quick change of weather or a quick change in barometric pressure can trigger a migraine.
- Medications. As mentioned above, oral contraceptives are a common trigger as are vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin.
The neck consists of 7 small vertebrae which collectively are referred to as the "cervical spine." Sitting or standing for prolonged periods, poor or abnormal posture, degenerative changes, accidents and other injuries, etc. can all lead to damage of the cervical spine and can cause uncomfortable aching, tightness, pain, reduced range of motion, immobility, headaches (as described above), pain/numbness/tingling into the shoulders/arms, etc. Through treatment at our office, we can help to restore the motion in your neck and relieve the pain and unpleasant symptoms in your neck.
The back is separated into additional regions - the mid back consists of 12 vertebrae which collectively are referred to as the "thoracic spine," the low back consists of 5 large vertebrae which collectively are referred to as the "lumbar spine" and below the lumbar spine is a fused bony region known as the "sacrum." Again, sitting or standing for prolonged periods can affect the thoracic and lumbar regions as well as poor lifting mechanics, repetitive lifting, degenerative changes, accidents and other injuries - all of these mechanisms can lead to damage of the thoracic and lumbar regions which can cause uncomfortable aching, tightness, pain, reduced range of motion, immobility, radiating pain into the buttock and/or leg(s), etc. Through treatment at our office, we can help to restore the motion in your back and relieve the pain and unpleasant symptoms in your back.
Additional Musculoskeletal Conditions
Chiropractic can address any of the joints in the body and correct overall alignment and motion to help with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions throughout the body, not just in the spine. We may be able to assist you if you suffer from any of the following:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis/fasciosis
- Epicondylitis (tennis elbow or golfer's elbow)
- Tendinitis/tendinopathy (including tendinitis in the Achilles tendon, knee and shoulder)
- Sprains and Strains
- Ligament injuries
- Radiating and referred pain
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Frozen joints including frozen shoulder
- Muscle, joint or ligament tears and pulls
- Herniated discs
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) - aka shin splints
- Ruptured discs or tendons
- Chronic pain and discomfort
- Cumulative injury (musculoskeletal disorders that result from repetitive movements or overuse)
- Fractures (after proper medical evaluation)