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Woman with headacheHeadaches are a common issue in todays society with 50% of the population report having a headache every year.  They can range anywhere from an annoyance to a debilitating condition that causes interruption to your daily life. Regardless of its severity, headaches cause mental blocks that don’t allow you to express yourself to your fullest potential. Although headaches are a common issue and are seen as a normal part of life, they are not. A headache is a signal that something is not right in your body. Some causes of headaches can include emotional stress(anxiety, depression), a medical condition(high blood pressure, infection, hormonal), physical stress(trauma, trigger points), biomechanical issue(nerve and spine dysfunction, tight muscles) and environmental(chemicals, weather, allergies). In our office we know the importance of finding the root cause of your health problems.

It is important to know the cause in order to find the best course of treatment and care. We determine the cause by starting off your care with a through exam that consists of a detailed case history, xrays of your spine, orthopedic tests specific to the area of concern, and neurological scans. If your headaches are stemming from misbalances in the muscles, joints, nerves or discs, this is what we specialize in.

What to expect

When you come into our office for the first time, expect it to take up to an hour for a comprehensive exam and consultation. The first part of the exam is the detailed case history with a doctor that will attentively listen. Then posture checks along with neurological scans will be performed. Orthopedic tests are different positions the doctor will take you through in your area of concern to help determine the cause. Then xrays will be taken of your neck area to assess the cervical curve, alignment, and bone and disc health. The curve in your neck, cervical curve, is of high importance because when there is not a proper curve, this causes stress and tension on your spinal nerves and spinal cord. When a nerve has stress on it, it loses its function.

When there is a misalignment in the spine this causes interference or stress on the nervous system, this is called a subluxation.  Our nervous system is composes of the brain, spinal cord and the spinal nerves. The nervous system controls and coordinates every cell, organ and tissue in our body. When a subluxation is present, the nerve is not signaling to the brain at its full capacity.  As a chiropractor, we find these subluxations in your spine and take the pressure of the nerve so that there is a full line of communication between the body and the brain. Subluxations are corrected through chiropractic adjustments that allow your spine to have the proper motion and alignment. If your headaches are being caused by a subluxation, then they won’t get better until that is addressed.

Ways to help relieve headaches

Stretches and exercises are complimentary to chiropractic adjustments to help strengthen and stabilize the area of weakness. Most adults tend to have tight shoulder muscles and weak neck muscles, this is called upper cross syndrome. A lot of headaches are caused by stress. Massage therapy is a great way to help relieve stress and tension in the shoulder area. Massage therapy is complimentary to chiropractic adjustments because it helps to further relieve pressure off the muscles and tendons, allowing for better nerve function. Massages also help with lymphatic drainage, which removes toxins from the body to further help with the healing process.

Types of headaches we can treat

Tension headaches

Tension headaches tend to be mild to moderate pain level that forms diffuse pain like a tight band around your head. These headaches are the most common form of headaches because they can be caused by muscle tightness, trigger points and spinal dysfunction. Since the most common reason for this headache is brought on by stress, we see great results with chiropractic care combined with massage therapy.

Migraine headaches

People tend to mix up the terms of migraine and headache. Migraines typically present as throbbing and extreme head pain that generally is worse on one side. Migraines can cause feelings of nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound and generally see an aura before or during the episode. We generally use a chiropractic technique called Toggle on patients that experience migraines because its main focus in on the upper neck and produces positive results.

Allergy or Sinus headaches

Sinus headaches are a pressure like feeling that tends to form around the eyes, cheeks and forehead areas. These are generally caused by a sinus infection or inflammation from allergies. The pain tends to worsens when lying down, bending over, or when there are pressure changes in the weather. Through chiropractic care to the upper neck region, pressure trigger point release on the sinuses and nutritional changes there’s a relief in symptoms.

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches tend to have the pain start in the back of the head and wraps all the way around to the front of the head. The problem stems from the neck but the pain is referred to the head making it feel like a headache. Typically patients that have this present with stiffness in the neck and pain when moving the head in certain directions. Since the main issue with these headaches come from the neck, patients respond very well to chiropractic adjustments.

Pregnancy Headaches

Pregnancy headaches typically are a type of other headache but are termed this since it is occurring during pregnancy. The game plan for these headaches are to determine which one it is most likely presenting as and base care off of that. Helping to manage the mom’s stress and follow good lifestyle choices such as exercise, eating regular meals, getting enough uninterrupted sleep, and prenatal massage.

TMJD Headaches

A headache can be caused by having a misaligned jaw joint. TMJD, temporal mandibular joint dysfunction typically presents as popping or pain at the jaw joint. Through gentle chiropractic adjustments to the jaw using a tool called an activator, which delivers a specific, low force adjustment, and jaw stretches and exercises, patients gain a lot of pain relief.

Questions to answer

When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?

The sooner the better. We want to address the problem as soon as possible before the condition worsens and to help relieve your pain.

Are chiropractors covered by insurance for headaches?

Yes, we take most insurance plans.

Is massage or chiropractic better for headaches?

Chiropractic and massage therapy always compliment each other. Both would be ideal, but it also depends on the cause of the headache.

How can I relieve my headaches?

Get a chiropractic examination to evaluate the root cause of your headaches to best know the course of treatment.

Can chiropractic help my TMJD?

Yes! Dr. Bence specializes in chiropractic adjustments and treatment for TMJ pain.


Headaches | (586) 978-9900