If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative!
How We Treat Headaches In Cape Girardeau, MO
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
Any encounter with a new patient in our office begins with an in depth consultation. As doctors, we need to get to know you and your story, and how you have gotten to this point. This history is crucial to understanding your condition and helps us determine the best way that we can help you. If you present to our office with chronic headaches, for example, we want to find out how those headaches are interfering with your life. This helps us to set appropriate goals for your care.
During the examination we will perform orthopedic, functional, and neurologic tests to help us find the cause of your headaches. This ensures that we put together the right treatment plan for you so we can meet your goals and improve the quality of your life in the process.
Specific Chiropractic Care In Cape Girardeau, MO
As chiropractors, we specialize in finding and correcting subluxation. This is a problem that occurs when a vertebra (bone in your spine) moves out of its normal position and causes irritation to nerves in that area. When nerves are irritated, they become symptomatic and can be painful due to inflammation. Correcting subluxation allows the nerves to function properly and the body to heal itself.
Many times, people with headaches have subluxation in the upper cervical spine (neck). The nerves in this area emerge from the spine and travel up the back of the head. When these nerves are irritated, one of the most common symptoms they cause is headaches. Through specific chiropractic care to this area, nerve interference can be removed, and nerve function can be restored. For many, this will fix the headaches they are experiencing almost instantly.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
At Elevation Chiropractic, a huge emphasis is placed on posture. Your posture is a window to your health and how well your spine functions. Many people who come to our office with headaches have posture problems that have likely existed for a long time. As a result, correcting these posture issues becomes imperative to successfully treating these headaches.
Forward head posture is the most common postural problem that we see. The head is supposed to be directly in line with the shoulders. Due to increased technology use (phones, tablets, etc.) we all tend to be looking down more than we used to. This causes increased strain of the muscles in the neck and back of the head and can contribute toward headaches.
At Elevation, our doctors and trainers work together to come up with a customized, corrective exercise plan that is unique to your needs. You will also receive an exercise plan to complete at home in between your visits to the office. We will also provide advice for how to avoid aggravating your condition when working at your office. Overall, it is truly a team effort where the doctors, trainers, and patients all work together to meet the patient’s goals.
Nutrition In Cape Girardeau, MO
Life can get pretty busy and stressful, and the “common” headache is sometimes overlooked or masked with a painkiller like aspirin (which, especially when overused, can sometimes cause more serious health issues). A headache is a good indicator that your body is missing something – maybe you need to take a breather, drink some water or change the way you eat. You may have a vitamin or nutrient deficiency or a food sensitivity that is causing this built-up tension.
At Elevation, our doctors, staff, and (if more in-depth testing is needed) our functional medicine sister-clinic are here to help you optimize your nutrition, use natural remedies to relieve headache symptoms, including specific magnesium supplementation, essential oils, headache- and migraine-fighting foods, hydration, and rest.
Common Types of Headaches in Cape Girardeau, MO
As previously discussed, there are many different types of headaches that people can get, and one of the most common that we see at Elevation Chiropractic is tension headaches. These headaches cause a mild to moderate achy pain that feels like a tight band around your head. They are commonly felt in the back of the head, which is caused by increased muscle tension in this area as well as the neck. If you experience tension headaches, it is important to have your spine and muscles checked for any dysfunction that could be causing your condition.
Another common headache presenting to Elevation is migraine headaches. These headaches can be more complicated because they have multiple possible causes and different presentations. Migraines can also cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and/or sensitivity to light and sound. In some instances, migraine sufferers may experience an “aura” either before or during their migraine episode. An aura can best be described as a visual disturbance such as blurred vision, wavy lines, or flashing lights.
The pain from migraines can either be throbbing or pulsing, or in some cases extreme and debilitating. They have the potential to drastically decrease a person’s quality of life if left untreated. Migraines can be cervicogenic, meaning they originate in the cervical spine. It is wise to have a chiropractor check your spine and nervous system as part of your migraine management plan.
Sinuses are air filled cavities in the skull. Their primary job is to produce mucus that protects the lining of the nose from bacteria and harmful organisms. When our sinuses get inflamed from either infection or allergies, they are unable to drain properly. This is a common occurrence that causes sinus-related headaches.
These headaches cause a deep, uncomfortable pressure feeling behind the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. The pain is typically worse when you bend forward because it increases the pressure on the sinuses. At our office, we use a combination of chiropractic care and massage therapy to help decrease the pressure and help the sinuses drain more effectively. This provides relief and helps people get better faster.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ for short) is the hinge joint known as your jaw. It is the joint that allows your mouth to open and close. If you have TMJ dysfunction, headaches can be a common symptom that follows. This type of headache is usually felt on the sides of the head, causing a deep ache in this region.
TMJ headaches can be very uncomfortable, so it is important to address them as quickly as possible. Our doctors at Elevation have advanced training in TMJ disorders, and can help you understand the cause of your TMJ headache and how to fix it.
At our office, we see many people who have recently been in auto accidents. One of the most common injuries these people have is due to whiplash, in which the head moves quickly back and forth as a result of impact. Whiplash headaches can be particularly painful because they involve both the head and the neck.
The pain of whiplash headaches is typically at the base of the skull, and it is exacerbated by moving the neck. This limits your range of motion and can decrease your ability to do your work, chores, or hobbies. Through chiropractic care, soft tissue work, and corrective exercise, our team can relieve your whiplash symptoms and get you on the road to recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions About A Headache
Is a chiropractor in Cape Girardeau, MO good for headaches?
Definitely! Chiropractors are trained to identify the source of headaches and guide you through the proper treatment protocols to correct the cause. The chiropractors at the Elevation Chiropractic have helped thousands of headache sufferers in Cape Girardeau and the surrounding areas get their lives back on track, and they can help you too!
When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?
As soon as possible. A headache is a sign that something in your body is not functioning properly. It is important to be evaluated promptly so your condition does not worsen. Starting care quickly can help you feel better and get back to doing the things you like to do and need to do in your life.
Is massage or chiropractic better for headaches?
Both massage and chiropractic are great ways to treat headaches both naturally and effectively. However, they are even more effective when they are both utilized in the same treatment plan. Addressing both the muscles and the spine allows for optimum function and a greater capacity to heal properly. Elevation Chiropractic offers access to both of these services, taking the search-work out of it and making it easy to address your headache issues.
Can getting your neck adjusted help with headaches?
Absolutely! Many headache-causing problems actually originate in the neck, so addressing that problem through chiropractic care can certainly bring relief for those suffering with these types of headaches. Many times, the relief is instant!