WebMD reports “according to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches and of these, 28 million suffer from migraines. About 20% of children and adolescents also experience significant headaches. [Astonishingly] one hundred fifty (150) diagnostic headache categories have been established.”
Patients that have received high-level chiropractic care take a very different view of headaches than does the general population. The reason for that? Good chiropractic care eliminates most headaches!
Although chiropractors are trained to recognize the different medical classifications of headache, we do not dwell on these classifications because (excepting the following explanation); most of our patients recover from that very uncomfortable condition quite readily.
Even with good holistic care there are types of headaches that are more difficult to relieve, and may require longer-term treatment. They are:
- True migraines (with systemic contributions or inherited characteristics) The very worst types of migraines may not be eliminated by integrative natural therapies;
- Sinus headaches (with acute or low grade/subclinical sinus and/or gut infection);
- Rebound (or medication-induced) headaches
Feels like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the back of the head, neck, and around temporal areas. Rarely halt daily activities –not as severe as migraines – don’t usually cause nausea or vomiting that are characteristic of migraines.
Tension headaches are the most common type, and can be managed and eliminated in most cases with proficient holistic chiropractic care. Injury Recall Technique is routinely employed at Healing by Design as a first step in the management of stress that can be a major contributor to tension headaches (and to headaches in general.)
Spinal and soft tissue manipulation, ion footbath and nutritional detox, as well as dietary changes are employed, and achieve long term healing.
Cluster headaches are recurring and manifest in groups or cycles. They are characterized by severe, sudden pain on one side of the head, and may be accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion or a runny nose on the same side of the face. People often feel restless and uncomfortable during an attack, and my not feel like lying down.
Chiropractic cranial/sacral therapy to reduce connective tissue tension throughout the head and neck all the way to the feet can be an important part of the healing of this condition. All the measures mentioned in the Tension headache section above are employed as well in the management of cluster headaches. Cluster headaches can respond well to the many therapies used at Healing by Design.
Congestion or infection of sinuses (and reflex irritation of sinuses by unhealthy intestinal flora) can cause headaches. All the measures mentioned above are utilized to alleviate this condition, and unless there is acute and advanced infection, drugs are rarely necessary. A huge contributor to sinus congestion and headaches is dairy product consumption, especially cheese and ice cream! Strict dietary cleansing and altering food consumption goes a long way in the eradication of sinus headaches. Ionic footbath cleansing is also employed. There are specific homeopathic supplements that are powerful sinus decongestants, and are well tolerated by the body. At Healing by Design we have great success in helping patients eliminate recurring sinus headaches.
Migraines often have a familial pattern, and are diagnosed using criteria such as the following:
- At least five previous episodes of headaches;
- Lasting between 4–72 hours;
- At least two out of these four: one-sided pain, throbbing pain, moderate-to-severe pain, and pain that interferes with, is worsened by, or prohibits routine activity;
- At least one associated feature: nausea and/or vomiting, or, if those are not present, then sensitivity to light and sound.
A migraine may be foreshadowed by aura, such as visual distortions or hand numbness. (About 15% to 20% of people with migraines experience these.)
Deep-seated migraines with a familial pattern of occurrence are the hardest type of migraine to treat by natural or any other means. Nevertheless, Dr. Anderson has seen many patients over the course of his practice that has entirely eliminated this very troublesome condition. Some cases, despite best efforts, do not respond, or do not respond quickly, but it is certainly advisable to give integrative natural therapies and advanced chiropractic care a try.