People visit The Spin & Joint Centre, our chiropractic clinic in Ealing, to resolve a wide variety of health conditions. However, headaches and migraines are two common issues we see at our chiropractic clinic.
Suffering headaches is not uncommon, and many of us will suffer the occasional headache from time to time. However, suffering constant headaches should not be regarded as common. Reaching for painkillers can dull the pain, however, this is not an answer to resolving the underlying cause of the headaches. In fact, taking too many painkillers can cause more headaches, research has found!
Migraines are a severe form of headache and is most often accompanied by other symptoms.
In this post, our Ealing chiropractor explains how headaches and migraines are different and explains how chiropractic may be effective in treating the cause of headaches or relieving migraines.
What Are Headaches?
Headaches are a common condition which cause pressure and pain in the head. The intensity of a headache can range from a mild throbbing sensation through to a sharp debilitating pain.
Most headaches will affect both sides of the head evenly. However, the precise location of headache pain can vary. Some headaches will present as a pain in the forehead, while others will affect the temples or back of the head. The duration of a headache can be anywhere from 15 minutes through to several days.
The most common type of headache is the tension headache. It is usually caused by muscular tension, stress, or anxiety.
Other common headache types include:
- Cluster headaches
Clusters headaches are a series of very painful headaches which occur over the space of several hours or a few days. Sufferers will experience a number of headaches in a short period, then will enjoy a headache-free period.
- Sinus headaches
Sinus headaches are usually caused by a sinus infection. In addition to migraine-like symptoms, a sinus headache can cause fever, congestion, facial pressure, and a cough.
- Thunderclap headaches
This is a severe headache that develops in the space of a minute. It can sometimes be a symptom of a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention.
- Caffeine headaches
Consuming caffeine changes blood flow to the brain. If you suddenly stop consuming it, it may trigger a headache.
- Exertion headaches
Exertion headaches are cause by high intensity activities like weight lifting, running, cycling, and sex. They are usually temporary.
What Are Migraines?
Migraines are intense headaches which have additional symptoms. They are usually harder to treat compared to a normal headache and are often debilitating. The additional symptoms of migraines include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain focussed on the temples
- Temporary vision loss
- Sharp pain behind one eye or ear
- Visual disturbances like spots or flashing lights
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Throbbing pain
Migraines can be so severe that sufferers are forced to retreat from the world and stay in bed for several hours. In severe cases, they require hospitalisation or the use of powerful sedatives.
If you have a strong pain that affects one side of the head, a migraine is the most likely culprit. However, some people will experience migraines that affect both sides of the head equally.
Certain individuals will experience symptoms before a migraine occurs. This can include constipation, depression, irritability, a stiff neck and unusual food cravings.
How Visiting Our Chiropractors In Ealing May Help
The key to resolving headaches is to diagnose the cause of the headache.
Chiropractic can be effective in the treatment of headaches that are the result of an injury or problems to the neck (cervicogenic headache). These types of headache usually affect the base of the skull or one or both sides of the head and are usually dull and achy.
Lifestyle changes can often help in decreasing the number of headaches suffered. Our chiropractors can advise patients on lifestyle changes that may help.
Headaches can be caused by problems affecting the verterbrae (bones of the spine). These can be a contributory factor in migraines. Tightness in the neck muscles due to stress and tension in the neck, shoulders and back can be relieved by Chiropractic treatment.
Our Chiropractors at The Spine & Joint Centre have the training and experience to determine if Chiropractic treatment is not appropriate for the cause of your headaches. They will refer a patinet to the appropriate healthcare professional such as GP or Consultant Neurologist if necessary.
Our chiropractors have several strategies for helping patients who suffer from headaches or migraines. These may include chiropractic adjustments and lifestyle changes
If you are suffering headaches or migraines, to find out if our chiropractors can help you, book an appointment with one of our team at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing. Call our clinic on 020 8900 9004.