In our last blog post we discussed the prevalence of headaches and migraines and how we can address and avoid this issue while at home and in the workplace. In this post we will explore the different treatment methods that can address and fix headaches and migraines.
Socrates once said, “In sickness and disease look to the spine first.” And this is exactly where we must start when addressing a neurological issue such as migraines and headaches. The two key aspects of good spinal health is joint function and global alignment of the spine. If our spines shift out of alignment, it creates stress and tension on joints, soft tissue and nerves which over time breaks us down and creates symptoms.
When specifically addressing and treating symptoms such as headaches and migraines, the focus on the spine must be at the upper cervical level as these joints house the nerve roots that innervate the head. If joints shift out of alignment at this level, common symptoms are headaches and migraines.
Chiropractic care can remove joint subluxations, which are essentially misalignments of the bones within the neck and spine. Following a detailed health history and examination involving x-rays, we can pinpoint which joints have shifted. By applying a light force to the fixated joint, it allows us to remove stress and tension on those nerves, which in turn helps relieve the symptoms.
However, we cannot just expect to move a joint and the headaches and migraines be gone all together. The global alignment of the cervical spine plays a massive role in how these joints are loaded and essentially how they move. As we have discussed in previous blog posts, the human frame is designed to move. We are not built or designed to be sitting at our desk or staring at a phone screen all day. This sedentary lifestyle has wreaked havoc on our spines and nervous system, especially when looking at the alignment of the neck.
Necks are curved and designed to carry the weight of our heads evenly throughout the neck. However, due to excessive sitting and our heads constantly been shifted forwards, it shifts our spines out of alignment. There is now a medical term for this, tech neck. This essentially refers to the straightening of the cervical spine. When this occurs, it creates massive amounts of stress and tension on the sub occipitals, which are the little muscles at the base of your skull, which anchor your skull and spine together. When these structures are placed under a constant state of stress, it breaks them down, we will discuss this in detail a little later. However, what it also does is shift the weight of our head forward, this increases the pressure within our discs, which over time breaks down the disc and can cause degeneration within the spine.
Here at Advanced Health Chiropractic, we practice a specific technique called chiropractic bio physics. Through specific training and a specialized treatment called spinal traction we can objectively change the shape of the spine and get it back into alignment. By doing this, we can offer our patients more of a long-term solution to their headaches and migraines.
The last key piece to correcting headaches and migraines which many providers miss, is the treatment of the scar tissue that forms within the soft tissue of the neck when in a constant state of stress, a consequence of poor posture.
When muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck are put under a state of stress from poor posture, it requires the tissue to work too hard. As a result, the tissue breaks down. The body’s response to this is obviously to repair and heal that tissue by laying down a collagenous tissue called adhesion. Once adhesion forms in the tissue it acts like glue and becomes weak and inflexible.
If when treating headaches and migraines we are only adjusting the fixated joints and not addressing the alignment of the spine and importantly the health of the soft tissue, then more often than not, the results are only temporary. The reason why this is so important is that if we do not address the changes that have occurred in the muscles and break down that scar tissue the spine will always be supported and moved on a weak and instable structure, this means the problem will keep coming back and only get worse over time.
Here at Advanced Health Chiropractic, our doctors have gone through specific soft tissue training that can address and correct this issue. Through a detailed range of motion exam and clinical knowledge, we can pinpoint the muscles that are weak and inflexible and correct the issue offering a long term correction and not just a quick fix.
Traditional methods of treating headaches involve some form of drug. In the short term, these can help alleviate the symptoms, however, long term they ignore what is really causing the issue. Many of our patients that ask us to help them get rid of their headaches are often sick and tired of taking the medication and are looking for an answer that addresses the root cause of the issue offering a long term solution, not involving the use of drugs or surgery.
Here at Advanced Health Chiropractic we have helped thousands of your Chicagoland friends and neighbors with all forms of headache and migraines, which have allowed them to get out of pain and start living life as they should be able to, without limitation.
At Advanced Health Chiropractic, we pride ourselves on a detailed and thorough initial consultation, including a detailed health history, orthopedic and neurological testing followed by some state-of-the-art imaging, which allows us to pinpoint your issue, allowing for a clear diagnosis and a specific course of treatment addressing the root cause of your issue and a tailored plan to achieve all your health and wellness goals. We use a blend of chiropractic care and physical therapy to achieve your goals, including state of the art spinal traction and soft tissue therapy, which allows us to offer objective long-term results. If you are suffering with headaches, migraines or any other form of pain and have tried other forms of treatment with other providers and are frustrated of trying to get the issue corrected, we encourage you to give us a call so we can help you live life as it’s intended, pain free. We look forward to meeting you here at the clinic and been the resource you have been searching for.