Headaches are defined as any pain in the head or upper neck. This can range from a deep throb in the neck muscles to sharp debilitating pain at the temples or behind the eyes. A common misconception is that the headaches originate in the brain due to emotional stress, however the brain does not have the type of nerve endings that feel and deliver physical sensation. Therefore, headaches originate in the tissues and muscles that surround the brain, neck and even the spinal cord and back. Discomfort in any of these areas, such as physical trauma, can cause a headache.
Common Types and Causes
We can classify headaches into several different main categories. These are:
Cervicogenic headaches are caused by problems within the neck. This is perhaps on one of the most common types of headache. This type of headache initially begins as sporadic pain, which slowly develops into consistent and continuous pain.
Typically cervicogenic headaches are triggered by ongoing stress and strain to the neck and spine, such as carrying too much weight on the shoulders for long periods of time.
Muscle-tension headaches are the result of neck and upper back muscular spasms. The reasons for muscle tension and spasms are wide and varied, however, they are often triggered by ongoing mental stress and bad posture. This causes tension in the muscles, which over time results in discomfort, spasms and headaches.
Post-traumatic headaches typically follow a sudden head or neck trauma such as whiplash from an automobile accident. In some cases, these headaches clear after a few minutes or day, but in many cases they can linger for months. If this type of headache lasts more than a few days then it may be a sign of a pinched nerve or a misaligned disc.
Drug-induced headaches from analgesic overuse are sometimes referred to as ‘rebound headaches.’ What is happening here is that the pain relief medication being taken is losing effectiveness as the body adapts to it. This results in only temporary relief and the pain returns.
Migraines are very powerful headaches that can trigger nausea and other symptoms, often making them hard to diagnose. The causes of migraines can vary widely, ranging from changes in hormonal balances in the body to food allergies even stress and tensions.
Increasingly, research shows that chiropractic treatments can be effective in relieving and treating headaches. This is because Dr. Mark treats the muscles and joints, which is in fact often the source of a headache. For example, a round of treatments to the neck, shoulders and upper back can address all of the common types of headaches and provide almost immediate relief. If you are in need of a chiropractor in Orlando, look no further than the expertise of Dr. Mark!
While it is essential to seek relief from the pain of a headache, once the initial discomfort is dealt with it is import to look at prevention. As you can see from the list above, typically, the main culprit of a headache is something in our lifestyle. Take some time to examine your lifestyle and look for areas that could be triggers, and then try to reduce or manage these. Common triggers include:
- Prolonged stress from work
- Lack of exercise
- Prolonged time sitting
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet
- Overuse of medications
If you or someone you know is prone to headaches, whether they are minor or debilitating, Dr. Mark and his chiropractic staff in Orlando can be of help. We encourage you to visit our clinic for a consultation on how chiropractic treatments can be of help. Call or visit our Orlando chiropractor office!