Headaches come in a many shapes and sizes. After years of treating people with headaches, I can tell you that everyone who suffers from them can usually tell you exactly what brings them on. For some, it’s simply emotional stress. Stress from work, personal life and especially physical stress, can lead to a tight band-like sensation around their head. It usually begins around mid-day and gradually becomes a full-blown annoyance toward the evening. They are considered “chronic” if they are experienced more than half the days in a month. Those suffering from them typically find relief with rest, chiropractic adjustments, hot/cold therapy , and over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS).
One common cause of Tension Headaches is cervical dysfunction. Many of my patients’ workplace requires hours of staring at a computer screen. We’ve all caught ourselves leaning forward toward our computer screen with our head jutting out in front of us until our shoulders start to ache. This is a tremendous stress on your spine! Your head weighs about 10lbs (some more, some less). That’s as much as a bowling ball! Your neck muscles will splint and spasm as they try to keep your head up as it inches towards your monitor. We know that for every inch your head goes forward, is an additional 10lbs of stress on your spine! (How many people do you know who look like this even when they’re just trying stand upright?) This stress can result in a self-feeding reflex which causes all of the muscles of your neck, shoulder and even the muscles around your jaw and face to tense and ache. Over hours, these tissues can even start to inflame. Over months and years, it can lead to irreparable spinal disc and joint degeneration.
Chiropractic care sees such success with cases such as these because we are able break what’s called the “pain-spasm reflex”. In essence, the adjustment resets your muscle tone much like ctrl+alt+del resets you computer. Once proper motion is restored, the reflex is broken resulting in relief. This is likely the reason why numerous scientific journal articles have described patients finding relief from Tension Headaches through chiropractic care. Restoring and maintaining proper spinal joint motion is also great way to ensure nutrient rich circulation is getting to your spinal joints and discs. Without motion, your joints cannot pump in and out the fluid it needs to heal properly.
If you have any questions about Tension Headaches, please call my office at 623.587.7463, and schedule a free consultation.
Dr. Aaron Wiegand