Headaches Can Be a Pain in the Neck

headachesAccording to the American Chiropractic Association, nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. The majority of these headaches result from muscle tension in the neck, which can cause joint irritation as well as tightness in the head, neck and shoulders. The nerves that radiate from the spine can be compromised and aggravated by incorrect posture.

Many of us spend a lot of time engaged in sedentary activities at work and home, such as sitting in front of a computer, reading or watching television. This contributes greatly to stress in the neck area.

Other causes of headaches may be certain foods, noises, or activities. That is why your Chiropractor will take a comprehensive history upon your intake, to understand your particular situation.

Relieve Headaches Without Medication

Spinal manipulation and adjustments can help improve spinal function and ease the pain. Van Amberg Family Chiropractic can also provide nutritional advice, advice on posture, recommendations for exercises and relaxation techniques. Our goal is to help you alleviate current headaches and avoid future headaches.

A study at Duke University in 2001 found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for headaches that originate in the neck, with less side effects and longer-lasting relief for tension headaches when compared with a commonly prescribed medication. This complemented a 1995 study that found the benefit of chiropractic treatment lasted more than four weeks.

What You Can Do to Prevent Headaches

  • If you have a sedentary job, take breaks hourly, (or more often), to do head and neck stretches. Dr. Van Amberg will be happy to show you a series of easy stretches.
  • Engaging in low-impact exercises may also help. However, this may not be beneficial if your headaches are dull and throbbing.
  • Avoid clenching your teeth, which can stress your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and can lead to tension headaches. See our section on TMJ for additional information.
  • Drink the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Dehydration can cause headaches.
  • Eat a healthy, balance diet and avoid food triggers. Take the appropriate supplements if you have a vitamin deficiency.