MIGRAINE - TENSION - CLUSTER - O.N.
There are many types of headaches. Migraines and other types of headache -- such as tension headache and sinus headache -- are painful and can rob you of quality of life. Migraine symptoms include a pounding headache, nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. Many people try common headache remedies, including various types of pain relievers, antinausea drugs and medications to prevent or stop headaches. However, none of these treatments are designed to resolve the headaches for good, but rather to just cover them up.
WHAT COMMONLY CAUSES HEADACHES?
The ache does not come from the brain itself - it cannot feel pain.
(Even during brain surgery the patient may be wide awake and feel absolutely nothing.) So what makes the head "ache" then? Within the head there a many non-brain structures, like blood vessels, membranes and nerves both inside and outside of the skull. When these structure get stretched, compressed, inflamed or infected they can cause headache. There is also a common type of headache known as "occipital neuralgia" (O.N.), often confused as a migraine. O.N. causes a c-pattern headache that radiates from the base of the skull in a c-pattern along the sides of the head around the ears and into the temples and forehead above the eyes. This type of headache can convert to a full blown migraine if it persists.
People around the world continue to turn to chiropractors for treatment or headache. It was estimated in 1995 by the National Institutes of Health that already about 48 million people in the USA used chiropractic treatment, and the numbers around the world are growing. A recent trial by Dr Peter Tuchin, done for a PHD thesis at Macquarie University, showed that 60% of migraine sufferers had a reduction in their symptoms during the course of their chiropractic treatment.
THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Dr JS Wight in the ACA Journal of Chiropractic (1978) reviewed chiropractic headache treatment and found a success rate between 72% and 90%. The benefit at times lasted for years after the treatments.
HT Vernon published a study in 1995 that related to tension headache, in the Journal of Physiological Therapeutics, which found that chiropractic headache care did indeed provide benefits.
HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC HELP?
Chiropractic has a unique approach of analysing the head and neck for conditions which may be causing these structures to become irritated, inflamed, stretched or infected. Also, a team of surgeons may have found one answer as to why chiropractic works so well at resolving headaches. They discovered a small neck muscle that connects directly to brain membranes.
That means that if the neck joint malfunction, they can cause a direct pull on the structures surrounding the brain. The lead neurosurgeon, GD Hack, stated that an increasing body of literature relates headaches to pathology affecting the cervical spine and a number of clinical trials have demonstrated that chiropractic .is valuable for managing headache.
(Hack et al, The anatomic basis for the effectiveness of chiropractic spinal manipulation in treating headache. Abstracts from the 15th annual upper cervical spine conference. Nov. 21-22, 1998, CRJ. 1999;VI(1))
Recent research has found definite and specific links between the neck and migraine-type headaches and occipital neuralgia.
Chiropractic is quite effective at addressing these types of headaches, without drugs or surgery.
Anyone suffering from headaches should make sure that their neck is functioning properly by having a thorough chiropractic examination.