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"Can Chiropractic Care Help Alleviate Your Headaches?"

There are many different causes for headaches so we will discuss a few of them here for you. Headaches can be structural in nature stemming from a misaligned vertebrae in the cervical spine, cranium, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Headaches can come from muscular/soft tissue involvement in the form of trigger points such as the levator scapulae, trapezius, or suboccipital muscles. Headaches can also come from dietary complications such as hypoglycemia or toxic reactions to food consumed. Headaches can come from psychological components such as depression and bipolar disorders. Headaches can also come from improper vision prescriptions. This is commonly missed as a possible source.

Headache types

Headaches from a structural origin can be caused from car accidents, sports injuries, or improper sleeping posture. Car accidents cause ligament damage and knock bones out of alignment which causes distortion and irritation of the nervous system which can cause headaches.

Headaches from soft tissue involvement can come from dehydration, stress, improper sleep posture, and injury. Muscles when tight can strangle nerve tissue as it passes through muscle. Misalignment of the occipital condyle can cause spasm of the subocipital muscles in the occipital region which can impinge the lesser occipital nerve which can cause headache. Trigger points of the levator scapulae, a muscle in the upper mid back, can radiate pain to the back of the head.

Different types of headaches

Headaches from dietary conditions and hypoglyclemia (Low blood sugar) can cause headache. Certain foods and ingredients are known to trigger headaches in some individuals. Here’s a list of common food triggers:

  • Aged Cheeses: Contain tyramine, which can cause headaches.

  • Alcohol: Especially red wine, due to compounds such as histamines and tannins.

  • Caffeine: Both excessive intake and withdrawal can lead to headaches.

  • Chocolate: Contains caffeine and other compounds that may trigger headaches.

  • Cured Meats: Preservatives called nitrates in these meats can dilate blood vessels and cause headaches.

  • Foods Containing MSG: This additive can trigger headaches in some people.

  • Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, for example, is linked to headaches.

  • Pickled and Fermented Foods: Can contain histamine which may trigger headaches.

  • Frozen Foods: Consuming these foods quickly can lead to “brain freeze,” which can cause a headache.

Types of headaches

Psychological disorders can have a significant impact on physical health, and headaches are a common symptom associated with various mental health conditions. Here are some psychological disorders that are known to cause or worsen headaches:

It’s important to address both the psychological and physical aspects of these conditions. Treatments may include medications, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle modifications like stress management, adequate sleep, and exercise. Consulting with healthcare professionals is crucial for a comprehensive treatment plan.

Chiropractic has several methods for dealing with headaches including manipulation of the cranial sutures. Please call the office if you have any further questions on how chiropractic can help you with headaches.

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