do-you-have-headache

Do you have a headache? You certainly are not alone! Fifty-nine percent of Canadian adults report suffering from some form of headache.1 Headache can be debilitating, but most often feel like unpleasant discomfort, pain, or pressure that can be addressed by manual therapies, relaxation and rest, hydration, and even short-term use of pain medication.

Yet, in severe cases, the pain can be unbearable and last for many hours or even days. In 2010, an estimated 2.7 million Canadians reported being diagnosed with a migraine headache2. Research indicates that the number of migraine sufferers is likely under-estimated since not everyone seeks care from a healthcare professional, and is likely undiagnosed.

Similarly, thanks to the help of Dr. Google, many Canadians resort to searching the internet to self-diagnose and self-manage. However, like many sources of pain, the causes of headaches are not all alike. Hence, the remedies will also differ. If you are concerned and looking for relief, seek help from a qualified healthcare professional, like your chiropractor. Like other musculoskeletal conditions, headaches can be differentiated by a comprehensive examination and strategies to relieve the pain can be identified. Talk to your chiropractor or another healthcare provider about your pain and headache today.

Here are a few types of headaches to consider:

Tension Headaches

The most common type of headache, tension headaches are characterized as diffuse, dull, aching pain typically described as tightness around the head. Not surprisingly, the most common trigger for tension headaches is stress. Generally, this type of headache can be managed by decreasing your stress, applying a cold or hot pack, and improving your posture. Conservative care, like chiropractic, can also help relieve symptoms and prevent a recurrence.

Migraine Headache3

Migraine headaches can present differently from person to person. Symptoms may include disturbed vision, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, and are often accompanied by sensory warning symptoms (aura). Sufferers may need to lie down in a darkened room until the symptoms ease. The causes of migraine headaches are not yet known, but there are a number of triggers that are associated with migraines including stress, sleep deprivation, changes in the environment and certain foods. A migraine can last hours or even days.

Cervicogenic Headache

A cervicogenic headache is classified as a secondary headache because the pain is referred to from structures of the neck. Since the origin is usually related to the cervical spine, managing pain can include manual therapy and recommended at-home exercise to address postural issues and dysfunction.

What causes headaches?

As stated earlier, the causes of migraines and other types of headaches are not entirely known. Commonly, joint dysfunction, muscle tightness, and poor posture can lead to the development of pain and specifically headaches. The changing barometric pressure that accompanies an abrupt shift in the weather is also thought to trigger migraines.

Here are a few other headache triggers that you might want to avoid where possible:

    • Stress
    • Alcohol
    • Skipping meals
    • Dehydration
    • Loud, sustained noise
    • Sleep deprivation

 

Treatment

Depending on the type of headache, your healthcare practitioner may recommend spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, home exercise, relaxation, and/or nutritional counseling. For more information about how chiropractors approach headache treatment, read the key recommendations for practitioners on the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative’s webpage.

1. https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/tp13312-2-neurology-headaches-2159.htm
2. Pamela Ramage-Morin and Heather Gilmour, “Prevalence of Migraine in the Canadian Household Population,” Statistics Canada, Health Reports, Volume 25, no. 6. June 2014.
3. https://www.migrainetrust.org/factsheet-migraine-what-is-it-10504
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  • I started going to Dr. Marco back in January 2020 when I was suffering a lower back injury. After seeing the reviews on google, I decided to give him a chance and I haven't looked back. Dr. Marco has helped me in my recovery and brought me back to feeling healthier than ever. He is extremely knowledgeable, kind and easy to talk too. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable and not overpriced. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a chiropractor in Etobicoke.
  • Royal York Chiropractic was recommended to me by multiple people, so I decided to give it a go for my back and shoulder problems. My first experience with Dr. Marco was extremely positive. He is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. His honesty and commitment to improving my pain is what kept me coming back. Very positive experience!
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for many years now and he helps me each time I see him. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and has a level of clinical awareness that comes from years of experience which helps to create an overall positive interaction. Making appointments is never an issue and the clinic environment is welcoming and relaxing. Highly recommend him!
  • I have had very positive experiences with Royal York Chiropractic. While Dr. Peter has predominantly been overseeing my care, I have had adjustments with Dr. Marco as well. Both are competent, caring, friendly and willing to answer questions. Anna keeps the office well-organized and the few times I've had to wait, it has never been for long.
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for a few years now and he helps me every time. His adjustments are precise and effective, he knows what he is doing. He can be aggressive or as gentle as you need. Appointments have never been an issue, he always works around my schedule. I would highly recommend him!