Happy June fellow summer lovers! Did you know that June is the poster month for both headaches and men’s health, pretty ironic, am I right wives? In all seriousness; did you know that according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) in 2018, women were nearly twice as likely as men to have had a severe headache or migraine in the past 3 months (20.1% versus 10.6%), with the most prevalent age group affected being 18-44?
Why would a chiropractor like me be so interested in these statistics? Headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system, this is literally what chiropractors specialize in- disorders of the nervous system.
Two of the most common types of headaches are tension headaches and migraine headaches. Tension headaches are most often caused by stress and muscle tension and can be connected to genetics and the environment (this can be work or home-related as well). Symptoms usually include moderate pain on or around both sides of the head, and/or pain in the back of the head and neck. Tension headaches build slowly and are not usually associated with nausea or vomiting. They can be chronic, occurring often or even every day. Migraine headaches are the second most common type of headache and most commonly affect women. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services; women make up 75% of migraine sufferers. Migraines often involve intense, throbbing pain (pain is typically worse on one side) that may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting, light sensitivity, and loss of appetite. Migraines can last several days and can be linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain.
How can chiropractic care help with headaches? Chiropractic adjustments are performed by removing the resistance that a misaligned joint will place on the nerves within the nervous system. The nerves are how the brain and body communicate; when there is a misalignment the body will send this message to the brain and the brain will process this information and then send signals to the area of the body that is misaligned and cause spasm/pain signals/and tension to help protect the joint from further injury. When a chiropractor adjusts the misalignment; the body sends the message to the brain that all is clear and the brain relaxes out the area that was affected. The area is then able to function again without interference and there is a decrease in tension, pain, and spasm of that specific area. For headaches, chiropractic care can work quickly and safely and restore proper function within the neck and back. Since it has been estimated that almost half of the adult population have had a headache at least once within the last year, it might be a good idea to find a chiropractor close to you!