Most people experience headaches at some point in their life, the most common are known as tension headaches. Migraine headaches are the second most common headache reported in clinical practice.
Nine out of ten people reporting headaches in our office leave with complete or substantial resolution of their symptoms after treatment. In fact, in over 20 years of practice, those not helped could be counted on one hand. Why is that?
Most ‘tension headaches’ are due to over contraction of the upper neck muscles…caused by vertebral subluxation complexes. That means a spinal joint is irritating a nerve, causing the muscle to tighten and starve for oxygen and ultimately referring pain into the head. Spinal manipulation to correct that subluxation resets the nerve function, relaxes the muscle and nearly instantly relieves the pain. Although symptoms are instantly better, our treatment is really focused on finding why the vertebrae subluxated in the first place and correcting that underlying cause. Headaches can be caused by poor posture, injury, eye strain, nutrient deficiency, toxicity, illness, food sensitivity, stress or emotional upset. Fortunately, through our six-step protocol, we can accurately determine the true cause and address it so the problem is resolved.
True migraine headaches often have a trigger that initiates the headache. Often people will have sensory changes…sound or light sensitivity, smell hypersensitivity or visual disturbances as a ‘prodrome’ occuring before the pain ensues. Migraines can be triggered by stress, hormonal cycles, food sensitivities, toxins and fatigue. These headaches often require more than spinal manipulation. When the headache is occuring, through kinesiology testing, we can often identify the offending trigger. If it is a food, it can be desensitized. If it is a toxin, a person can be detoxified and instructed how to avoid that specific toxin. If the trigger is hormonal, rebalancing the hormones proves effective, however, this trigger takes longer to stabilize than the others. Thankfully, most migraine sufferers get immediate reduction of symptoms with treatment.
These are uncommon headaches ususally more common in men. They come in groups, hence cluster is the name. Usually, 2-4 times daily lasting minutes to hours, the pain is often behind the eye. We find these headaches often have a trigger that precipitates it. Also, there is a huge correlation of hypoadrenia (low adrenal function) in these patients. Typically, we correct the low adrenal, find and eliminate the trigger and reset the neurologic connection with excellent results.
Typically patients wake up with these headaches. The direct cause is often bruxism (grinding or clenching of the teeth), however the indirect cause of bruxism is more complex. These patients often have postural disturbance, sometimes from the ground up. The body senses posture in proprioceptors (stretch receptors in muscles and ligaments). That’s how you can close your eyes and touch your nose. The TMJ (temporomandiblar joint) has high input of this information into your nervous system, as do the feet, the pelvic ligaments, the upper neck, then the spinal joints. The TMJ is like the fine control for the other gross inputs. We often find stabilizing postural muscles fixes complicated TMJ problems and the temporal headache they cause. Sometimes it is a simple process of releasing the fascia tension gently with percussion to the jaw. Often an inexpensive mouth guard is necessary, only occasionally do we need to refer for a dental appliance, usually due to malocclusion (poor bite fit). The success rate is in the high 90 percentile for TMJ headaches.
Numerous other factors cause headaches. We find almost all headaches are mediated (controlled) by the nervous system function of the upper neck. Identifying the precipitating trigger is the key. Utilizing kinesiology in the presence of the headache makes the process simple and we can precisely identify the trigger. The headaches a person needs to worry about are when you have intense, ‘worse-headache-in-your-life’ type pain. Also, if you have projectile vomiting, confusion, fever, numbness, weakness, slurred speech or unequal pupils, go to the ER. These can be signs of serious/life threatening problems. Other than these headaches, most every other cause can be simply detected and corrected using our six step approach.
If you, your friend, co-worker, child or loved one suffers with headaches, don’t wait, schedule an appointment today. These conditions are straight-forward and have highly successful resolution.