Ditch the Drugs: Chiropractic Care for Remedying and Preventing Headaches

Ditch the Drugs: Chiropractic Care for Remedying and Preventing Headaches

America is in love with the idea of a “quick fix.” Whether it’s a piece of duct tape or a little pill, we’ve learned how to bypass the underlying structural problem by finding a solution that’ll get us through another day.

And while this strategy can be very successful in the short run, these quick fixes only serve to mask a far bigger problem that will demand your full attention at some point. Especially when it comes to your health.

Here at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic, my goal is to stop the dependency on quick-fix solutions and, instead, go straight to the core of the problem for long-term results. There’s no greater example of the success of this practice than treating headaches.

All too often, my patients come in to my office here in Kirkland, Washington, complaining of chronic, debilitating headaches that are sidelining them from life. While they’re able to pop a few ibuprofen and get on with their day, the headaches inevitably return, over and over.

Here’s what I tell them:

Consider the whole

Our bodies are incredibly complex, with microsystem upon microsystem that functions both independently and as part of a bigger whole. The goal of good chiropractic care is to take a step back and take in all of your body’s systems to see how a problem in one area can affect your health in a seemingly unrelated area of your body.

For example, approximately 80-90% of the population in the United States suffers from tension headaches at some point during their lives, and they’re rarely an isolated incident. As we spend more time sitting in front of screens, our musculoskeletal systems are forced into unnatural positions for long periods of time. And this takes an incredible toll, especially on your spine.

Tension headaches often originate in your neck and shoulders and travel upward, causing you head pain. The compression along the length of your spine and the awkward position of our necks as we gaze downward into our handheld devices begin to cause inflammation in our joints and soft tissues, which irritates our nerves. This can lead to muscle tenderness and sensitivity to pain, which are the hallmarks of tension headaches.

Decompress, deflate, and destress

Imagine that we treat your spine, correcting any misalignments we find in order to facilitate the natural flow of your body’s systems. By doing away with the compression along your spine, we allow your body’s own powerful healing resources to come in and stimulate healthy cell growth, which reduces inflammation, which reduces nerve irritation, which reduces -- you guessed it -- tension headaches.

While spinal adjustments go a long way toward freeing up your body for better movement and less tension, I also encourage you to take a look at the role that stress plays in your life. I urge all of my patients to attack headaches from every angle, and that includes incorporating relaxation techniques, such as meditation or stretching, into their daily routines. Slowing your heart rate down and not letting stress build up allows your body to operate mindfully and purposefully, instead of functioning in a constant fight-or-flight mode.

The migraine dilemma

While chiropractic care for tension headaches makes perfect sense, I’m often asked how it can help with migraines. Migraines are one of the least-understood medical conditions, which is frustrating given that over 37 million people in the US alone suffer from them.

While little is known about the exact cause of migraines, we’re beginning to understand the role that triggers play, and there are a number of them, from foods to lack of exercise.

After reviewing your migraine and health history, I start by addressing any misalignments in your spine, which could be hampering the flow of valuable healing resources. I also counsel you on nutritional changes that can have a big impact on your migraines, as well as relaxation techniques, since stress and anxiety are major triggers for many. Trigger point injections, which relax areas of tension in your soft tissue, also work to free up your body’s systems.

Each of my treatments is designed to work together to improve your overall health, as well as address the immediate concern of your headaches, giving you results that a 6-hour pill can’t provide.

If you’d like to explore how you can ditch the short-term relief of pills in favor of long-term health, please give me a call or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool on this website.

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