If you suffer from frequent or serious headaches you may be referred to a chiropractor. Chiropractors are often capable of finding the sources of serious headaches and correcting them, which is a better long-term option than just taking pills to treat the painful symptoms. What your chiropractor can do isn't limited to just in-office treatments; once the source of your headaches is found, he can likely help you find out what you need to do at home to continue healing. What will happen depends on the cause as well as the type of headache you are experiencing.
To start, your chiropractor will probably ask you general questions to try to help narrow down possible causes. For example, he may ask you when the headaches started, where the pain is located and how serious it is. He may then ask if there is anything you do that makes the symptoms better or worse, or whether they happen at a certain time of day.
Physical examinations are a little more thorough. You'll probably be taken through a few assessments like postural and range-of-motion assessments. The chiropractor may also touch various parts of your painful areas, apply pressure or push or pull gently to see what hurts or what alleviates the pain. If necessary, you will also receive neurological assessments and orthopedic tests.
Searching For Causes
Headaches are primarily caused by physiological issues. Your brain itself can't feel pain so that pain usually comes as a result of muscle tension or mechanical dysfunctions in the vertebrae in your neck. Either one of these things in turn can be caused by multiple problems from physical injuries to stress. It's also possible that you may have a long-term issue that contributes to a chronic headache problem.
Based on the results of your first meeting with your chiropractor, you'll start with some basic treatments. They include specific stretches and exercises, spinal adjustments, heat applications and trigger point massages. The first goal is generally to alleviate muscle tension or correct any spinal issues contributing to your headaches. While this may often take multiple sessions to correct in the long term, you should feel immediate relief when you go in for every session because your chiropractor is working on the actual cause.
What comes next is practice for preventing further damage. This includes education on correct posture and workspace organization, stress relief and relaxation therapy. Some of this will occur during your sessions, but you'll probably be given stretches or other relaxation techniques to practice in between apart from watching your posture. If necessary, you can also get medication for your pain to help you in the meantime.
Chiropractors, like those from Commonwealth Chiropractic, can provide many treatments, but they can also work with other health care providers and often your primary care physician, so don't be afraid to ask for more options.