One of the most common conditions chiropractors treat is pain due to headaches or migraines. Headaches or migraines are caused by a number of factors.
Some including: Poor nutrition, Lack of sleep, Muscular imbalances of the neck and upper back, Consistant forward head posture
There are many different types of headaches and migraines. A common headache type is called cervicogenic headache. Patients will present with neck tenderness and stiffness. Typically, these headaches occur on one side of the head, but sometime will occur on both sides. Moderate to severe pain may begin in the cervical spine and progressively travel up the head. Symptomatic episodes may last hours to days. The characteristic continuous, fluctuating pain is described as deep but generally not throbbing. Symptoms may be triggered or reproduced by sustained or awkward cervical spine postures.
“Migraine” is a complex, chronic neurologic disorder characterized by recurrent moderate to severe headaches. The diagnosis of migraine is divided into two different categories. Migraine without aura" and migraine with aura. “Aura” is the collection of autonomic nervous system symptoms that occur immediately prior to the headache. Aura symptoms may include visual disturbances, extremity "tins and needles" feeling, nausea, vomiting, and hypersensitivity to light or sound.
Migraines develop when multiple triggers exceed the threshold for that particular individual. Common triggers include: stress, smoking, strong odors ( perfumes), bright or flickering lights, fluorescent lighting, excessive or insufficient sleep, head trauma, weather changes, high humidity, motion sickness, cold stimulus (ice cream headaches), lack of activity/exercise, dehydration, hunger or fasting, and hormonal changes, including menstruation, and ovulation. Upper cervical tension or the presence of a cervicogenic headache may be a trigger for a migraine.