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Headache help is on the way!

Headaches. They can range from a mild inconvenience in your day to intense stabbing pains similar to a knife going through your skull. Headaches are one of the most common health conditions in Australia. In fact, 6 million Australians are affected by headaches and migraines [1].

Because headache pain is so common, you may think getting a headache is a normal part of life. It doesn’t have to be.

As a chiropractor, I’ve met many patients who suffer from daily headaches but have accepted this to be a normal part of life. Perhaps they have come to see me for their lower back pain but don't know that chiropractic care can help headache pain as well.

I had no idea chiropractic could help.

I remember as a teenager, I would come home from school with a massive headache and head straight for bed. This happened almost every week. My mom would come up to my room with two orange pills “Here, swallow these. You’ll feel better soon”. I never stopped to wonder WHY I had a headache, I just assumed it was because it “ran in my family”. And I definitely had no idea a chiropractor could help.

I suffered from headaches for 10 years before I found the helping hands of a chiropractor.

Whether you’re waking up with an awful headache or coming home from work with a throbbing head, I am here to tell you there are natural solutions available if you are suffering with chronic ongoing headaches.

The first step to finding a solution is to determine the cause of your headache. While there are more than 300 types of headaches, only about 10% of headaches have a known cause [2]. The good news is that this blog isn’t going to cover all 300, otherwise you’d have a headache from all the reading.

Let’s start with three that commonly present to Balanced for Life.

1. Migraine Headaches

For anyone who has ever suffered from a migraine, you know how truly debilitating they can be.

Migraines are a severe, one-sided throbbing pain, that are accompanied by a whole laundry list of symptoms such as:

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Numbness

  • Visual disturbances

  • Sensitivity to sound, light and smells.

Prior to the onset of a migraine, some experience “auras” which may be a flash of light or blind spots. These awful headaches can last from 4 hours up to 3 days.

For many migraine sufferers, there are often varied and unique triggers. Some common triggers include:

  • Missed or delayed meals

  • Caffeine withdrawal

  • Certain foods

  • Hormonal changes

  • Lack of sleep

  • Emotional triggers

2. Tension-type headaches

This type of headache is the most widespread. Studies have shown the average prevalence as 36% for men and 42% for women [1].

These headaches are often experienced as a constant, tight, heavy sensation around the head; “band like” distribution.

Triggers for tension type headaches include

  • poor posture

  • stress, anxiety

  • fatigue

  • depression

  • jaw clenching

Both migraine headaches and tension-type headaches are classified as primary headaches. Primary headaches are by definition “idiopathic.”, meaning they occur for no obvious reason, and are not the result of any other underlying disease or condition [3]

3. Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches stem from dysfunction of the cervical spine. These headaches may be triggered by neck movement. With this type of headache, pain can start at the base of the skull and spread to the front of the head, usually just on one side.

Cervicogenic headaches are a common type of secondary headache, meaning these headaches are attributed to an underlying problem in the head or neck.

At your initial visit at Balanced for Life, we take a detailed history and conduct a thorough physical exam to determine the cause of your headaches. Not all headaches can be managed through chiropractic care, thus we may refer you back to your general practitioner for further evaluation and imaging.

If you are suffering from migraines, tension-type headaches or cervicogenic headaches, your Balanced for Life chiropractor will write your personalised treatment plan. Your headache treatment plans may include: - Spinal adjustments to restore movement to restricted joints - Soft tissue therapy to reduced muscle tension and overload - Diaphragmatic breathing to relax your body and relieve stress - Rehabilitative exercises focused on improving posture and core stability - MLS Laser therapy to reduce pain and inflammation

We know the devastating effects that headaches can have on your life and we are passionate about helping you live a pain free life.



  3. Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Headache Disorders in Adults.



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