Headaches are one of the number one problems that drive people to either visit a doctor or take over-the-counter pain medication. As a chiropractor, headaches are also one of the most common problems that I treat on a daily basis.
The most common type of headache is the tension headache, where the sufferer experiences a tight band around the head, almost as if the head were caught in a “vise-grip.” The pain and tightness is usually the most intense at the base of the skull and tends to start in the neck and shoulder muscles. The headache can last only one (1) day but may last up to a week or more. Tension headaches tend to be aggravated by stressful situations and can be brought on by prolonged periods of sitting in incorrectly supported positions such as while driving or sitting in a chair with poor support.
Even though tension headaches are the most common, researchers and medical professionals cannot reach an agreement as to the likely cause and appropriate treatment. As in many cases, it is often the most obvious answer that is easily overlooked. The fact is that most tension headaches sufferers also have poor upper back and neck posture, have reduced mobility of the joints of the neck, and experience chronic tightness of the neck and upper shoulder muscles. For many people, treatment and correction of these underlying causes is an extremely effective means to either reduce or totally eliminate these headaches.
The good news is that these treatments do not involve drugs or surgery. Both Chiropractors and Physical Therapists can work with headache sufferers to increase the mobility of the neck joints and to decrease the tension in the surrounding muscles. They can also provide advice related to proper ergonomics while driving and sitting and simple tips for things you can do at home when you feel a tension headache starting.
For more information, please visit a qualified health professional in your area or see the contact information below.