There are many types of headaches and the most common cause is tension in the neck. There are ways to naturally relieve the pain and tension with exercises, good posture, proper hydration and chiropractic care.
What are the different types of headaches?
Dr. John-Paul Whitmire: Well, there are a lot of different types of headaches. Some are small, uncomfortable throbbing, some are just a little bit distracting. Others can be extremely terrible, needing a dark room and time with no sound. People are most commonly aware of migraines, but most people don’t have migraines. They have something that is a false conclusion or a false diagnosis much of the time. There are many different types of categories of headaches. There are tension headaches, cluster headaches, the terrible migraines that we talked about, sinus headaches, hormone headaches, over exertion headaches, hypertension headaches, post traumatic headaches from after injuries. It is very good to get a diagnosis if you have regular or very severe headaches.
How does someone know what type of headache they have?
Dr. John-Paul Whitmire: Well, seeing a doctor that is going to pay attention to their symptoms for one, because symptoms is how we get about 70% of our diagnostic information on the headaches. But it is also very important to see a doctor that will be touching the patient because the most common form of headaches are headaches that are cervicogenic in cause, which means they come from the neck muscles of the patient.
We find that migraines are very commonly misdiagnosed because there haven’t been any muscle work trigger point checks or referral patterns checked with the patient. The referral patterns should be mapped by touching, squeezing or using trigger point methods in the neck muscles. The bottom line is if the doctor is not touching your neck, having you do ranges of motion and checking the common referral muscles for headaches, you are probably not getting an accurate diagnosis. I would like to say 90% of the patients that we see with headaches do not have migraines. Chiropractic exercise, stretching and things like that are extremely helpful.
What are the most common causes and triggers of headaches?
Dr. John-Paul Whitmire: Well, like I mentioned, the most common cause is tension in the neck muscles. That is what is causing most of the headache. A lot of times a headache can be from an accident you had years ago that the muscle was injured and there is scar tissue or there’s the hypertension in that muscle continues to have a constant problem. We have a lot of headaches caused by desk and computer work. The new one, text neck, is causing a lot of headaches. If you are texting a lot with your head bent down towards your chest, the tension in those neck muscles gets to be so painful that they start referring pain into the head. Your brain can’t distinguish that you are not really having a headache. You have muscle and neck problems that are making your brain think you have a headache.
Are there ways people can prevent headaches, such as drinking more water?
Dr. John-Paul Whitmire: Yeah, Dr. Bellacov, can you tell me some of those things?
Dr. Ryan Bellacov: Drinking water and avoiding dehydration definitely can help out tension headaches. Other things like stress management, relaxing techniques, can definitely help those tension headaches. Certain headaches like cluster headaches can be made worse with using alcohol. Again, addressing the most common tension headaches are just looking at your posture, avoiding the same postures is really important.
How can chiropractic care help relieve headaches?
Dr. Ryan Bellacov: Most research on headaches for chiropractic care is of the cervicogenic headache, so movement of the neck causing headache. The chiropractic has great results with this as well as tension headaches. Most people that come to us get great relief when they have a headache with manipulation.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. John-Paul Whitmire visit www.whitmirechiropracticwellness.com or call 503-362-1002 to schedule an appointment.