Headache? Your Body May Be Out Of Balance!
Know what's going on with your
body when you suffer from persistent headaches.
Headaches are a distress signal - your body is
telling you something's out of balance. Pain
relievers may temporarily turn off the alarm switch,
but don't always put out the fire.
A chiropractor, however, may be able to diagnose
your type of headache - tension or migraine - treat
its underlying physical causes and help you learn
how to prevent future headaches.
It's not all in the head
You may feel the pain's all in your head. But your
headache probably started with a spinal misalignment
in your neck, which must balance and move your head
with 'ballerina-like' control.
Poor posture, such as during long, stressful
commutes and sitting, can lead to spinal
misalignment, triggering a tension headache. Stress
and certain substances, like coffee or cigarettes,
can also trigger a headache.
Getting to the root of headaches
Your chiropractor can help you get to the root of
your problem. He or she is specially trained to
evaluate and treat spinal problems, including those
leading to headaches.
Your chiropractor can help relieve your pain with
spinal adjustments and related treatment, such as
ice packs. You also can learn what to do to prevent
future headaches, such as maintaining good posture
while sit ting, walking or sleeping.
Your chiropractic evaluation
Your chiropractor will evaluate your condition
before drawing up a personalised treatment and
prevention program me. The evaluation may include
recording your health history, a physical
examination , x-rays and other tests, if needed.
Your chiropractor will start by asking quest ions to
determine whether you suffer from tension or
A physical exam will help determine the cause of
your headache and an x-ray may be recommended to
rule out other problems.
Is it a tension headache?
1. Do you have steady, dull, tight pain around you r
scalp or neck?
2. Does the pain begin at the back of your neck and
progress to the whole head?
3. Do you sleep on your stomach with your head
twisted to the side or sit for long periods bent
over in one position?
4. Do your neck and shoulder muscles feel stiff?
5. Does stress or fatigue, like that experienced
during long work days, trigger your headaches?
Is it a migraine headache?
1. Do you have throbbing pain that feels like a
hammer is pounding in your head?
2. Is the pain usually on the left or right side of
3. Are your headaches accompanied by other symptoms, eg, visual disturbance, nausea, irritability or
sensitivity to light, noise and odours?
4. Do other family members have migraines?
5. Does stress, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, MSG,
smoking or menstruation trigger your headaches?
Your chiropractor will check your vital signs and
examine your neck and back. Using light pressure
(palpation), your chiropractor will check for stiffness, pain or muscle tension and your range of
X-rays give a detailed view of how the bones in your
neck and back line up. X-rays can spot bone
misalignment and rule out other problems, like
fractures or tumours.
X-rays can also help determine the kind of treatment
Your health history, physical exam and x-rays will
help your chiropractor diagnose your tension or
migraine headache. They will also help determine the
type of headache you are suffering from: cluster or
mixed headaches, or those associated with bacterial
infection, a tumour or haemorrhage.
Depending on the cause of your headache, your
chiropractor may refer you to another health care