Headaches have become a common symptom, especially in today’s society with added stress at work, a global pandemic, and technology consuming the lives of many. It is no wonder that our world as we know it is riddled with headaches and anxiety. I get asked if headaches are normal. My response is this: headaches are common today, but not normal. Our body is designed and programmed to adapt to stress. We were built to be mobile and pain-free.
Only 10% of our receptors in the brain and spinal cord indicate pain. This means that pain is one of the last symptoms indicating there is a problem! The problem was present long before the headaches began!
How could this be? Structure dictates function. When the structure of our body is compromised: muscle tightness/ guarding, vertebra out of alignment (called a subluxation), or inflammation, the signaling becomes weakened. Think of cell phone reception. When we have full bars, our phone works to perfection. We can research whatever we desire and get results within seconds. We can make phone calls with ease. When we travel outside of optimal reception and have 2 or fewer bars of service, the very activities we enjoy on our phones do not work. It is near impossible to upload any documents, search for a location, or send a text.
Our body functions the same way! When nerves are compromised by an imbalance in our body’s structure, pain receptors fire which notifies our brain a problem is occurring. We are only able to cure the problem when we realign the spine, calm the hypertonic muscles down, and remove inflammation within the body.
NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, provide a temporary bandage riddled with side effects including headaches, stomach ulcers, liver failure, and many more. Chiropractic care addresses the root cause of the problem. We aim to find where imbalances are occurring, whether that be in your neck, shoulders, and corresponding musculature.
Gentle tools like an activator or arthrostim as well as manual adjustments are performed to realign the spine. Lifestyle modifications will likely be prescribed as well. Ice is a must-have for headaches due to its natural and safe anti-inflammatory properties.
Applying ice to the base of the skull and neck for just 15 minutes will calm down the guarded muscles and ease inflammation. This allows the rewiring and proper connection of the nervous system to be reestablished.
Another lifestyle modification likely advised will be movement. Walking around every 30-60 minutes will naturally ease that tension in the neck and shoulders. It will also promote nutrition to reach the spine called imbibition, meaning nutrition provided through movement! Nutrients are forced in and out of discs the more we move. This prevents degeneration from occurring within the spine.
Talk to your health care provider about natural and holistic ways to alleviate headaches! Chiropractic care is a wonderful and safe option to ease tension, stress, and pain within the body.