If you’re prone to headaches—or even just have one once in a while—you know how awful they can be. A headache disrupts your day or night and makes it hard or impossible to concentrate on any task. Learn some of the common causes and hear from Dr. Lea Holcomb, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Vernon Hills about how chiropractic can help alleviate this painful and common ailment.
Stats on Headaches
Headaches occur across populations and are extremely common—according to the World Health Organization, it’s estimated that around 47 percent of the adult population in the world experienced a headache at least one time in the past year. Research shows that women experience headaches more frequently than men, although scientists and researchers aren’t exactly sure why.
While there are more than 200 kinds of headaches, the "Tension Type Headache" is the most frequently seen. Episodic tension headaches reportedly affect 70 percent of some populations and 1 to 3 percent of adults suffer from chronic tension headaches. A tension headache causes pressure and dull pain around the forehead, sides or back of the head.
If you or someone you know suffers from migraines—you know just how horrible one can be. Migraine headaches are the most severe and can completely debilitate the person suffering from one. Many people who have migraine attacks also experience other symptoms such as dizziness, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision or even fainting. The exact cause of migraines or why they affect certain people hasn’t been pinpointed, but many Chiro One patients have experienced relief from migraines after consistent chiropractic care.
Trauma, Toxins & Thoughts
"There are many different causes of headaches—but most can be boiled down to three things: Trauma, toxins and thoughts," explains Dr. Lea. "Trauma can include head trauma or accidental falls; toxins are chemical factors such as foods and beverages, including alcohol and food additives; and thoughts are emotional and mental factors like stress, anxiety and depression."
Treating Headaches with Chiropractic
As you may know, chiropractors treat subluxations in the spine, which prevent proper communication from the brain to the body (think of it like only receiving the first six digits of a phone number and attempting to figure out the seventh without proper information).
Dr. Lea has seen many patients who complain of headaches and her main goal is to find each patient’s headache trigger and eliminate the source. "Frequent and consistent adjustments keep your nervous system functioning optimally and have been shown to alleviate headaches in many patients," she states. "In addition to chiropractic care, start a journal and record foods you ate around the time of the onset of your headache, this is a great way to see if you have a food trigger—and once you find it, you can work to eliminate it. Also, keep hydrated and find good outlets for your stress such as exercise or meditation."