Headache Treatment: A Sun Prairie, WI Chiropractor’s Perspective
As chiropractors in Sun Prairie, WI, one of the most common complaints we see in our office is headaches. Unfortunately, 4% of the world’s population suffers from a headache 15 or more days every month. However, there is a vast difference between normal and common. It may be common for many people to suffer from headaches but pain is actually your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. It is important to address your body’s dysfunction and determine what the cause of your headaches may be.
Headaches can be complex to treat because they are caused by a variety of reasons. Causes may be emotional such as stress, anxiety or depression. Medical conditions like high blood pressure or infection may play a role in headaches along with environmental changes such as weather and allergies. In our office, we focus on physical or mechanical causes of headaches, such as spine dysfunction, nerve irritation and injury.
As with any symptom, it is important to find the root cause of the problem. If your headaches are due to your spine not moving correctly or being out of alignment, the pain will persist until the spine position is corrected. Chiropractors specialize in finding and correcting spinal misalignment, helping to decrease headache frequency and intensity.
As with any new complaint in our office, the doctors begin with a detailed consultation. This allows us to really listen to your history, your symptoms and how it is affecting your daily life. We’ll also spend some time setting goals and discussing what you hope to achieve in the immediate future. Because headaches vary between people, it’s crucial for us to understand the problem in order to determine the best care plan for you.
The doctors will also perform orthopedic and neurological tests to help find the cause of your problem. These findings will help us create the correct care plan so we can meet your goals and improve the quality of your life.
One of the most important tools here in our Sun Prairie, WI office is digital x-ray. Not only do x-rays show alignment and disc spaces in your neck, they also help us properly asses the neck curve. A proper curve is extremely important as it helps to distribute the weight of your head. The head weighs about 10-12 pounds but when the curve begins to straighten, your head feels heavier and is more difficult to hold up. This puts tremendous stress on the bones, ligaments and muscles of the neck which can contribute to headaches.
We also use x-rays to specifically locate which joints in your neck aren’t moving. This allows the doctors to know exactly what your neck looks like before starting care, getting you better results even faster.
Chiropractors are trained to located and correct a subluxation. A subluxation occurs when a bone in your spine moves out of position and creates irrigation to the surrounding nerves. Nerve irritation may present as pain (such as headaches) or even as non-painful symptoms such as vertigo.
Often, people that suffer from headaches have a subluxation in the upper part of their neck. The nerves affected by this subluxation may send pain signals to the spine, causing a headache. Chiropractors detect and correct this subluxation through an adjustment, which allows the nerves to function properly again. For many people, this provides instant relief.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Many people that suffer from headaches also notice they have poor posture. Unfortunately this is becoming more common as computer work, phone usage and prolonged sitting have become more prevalent in our daily lives. This leads to hunching over, forward head posture and extra strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back. A combination of these problems can lead to headaches.
At Noble Choice Chiropractic, the doctors focus on posture correction as part of your care plan. We work with you to come up a custom exercise plan with your daily life and job in mind. This means that you’ll have exercises to perform at home between your visits to help progress your care and achieve your goals.
Common Types of Headaches in Sun Prairie, WI
Tension headaches are one of the most common headaches we see at Noble Choice Chiropractic. This mild to moderate pain often feels like a tight band around your head, especially across the forehead. It may also feel like it begins at the base of the head and travels up your neck. This can be caused by muscle tension, trigger points and spinal dysfunction. Chiropractic helps to address the spinal dysfunction, re-train the muscles and decrease the frequency of tension headaches.
Migraine headaches can be debilitating. These headaches are generally described as throbbing or pulsating and typically located on one side of the head. Some people may have visual disturbances prior to the headache occurring. Others may have nausea, vomiting and sound sensitivity. Unfortunately for some people, the only resolution is to sleep until the headache is gone. By adjusting the misaligned bones in the neck, chiropractors can help with migraines and allow you to get back to your normal life.
While migraines are one of the most commonly known headaches, cluster headaches can be just as, if not more painful. Cluster headaches can awaken you in the middle of the night with pain on one side of the head or around one eye. Cluster headaches come in “cluster” periods of time that can last weeks to months, followed by remission periods.
Many people have headaches that are actually caused by dysfunction of the jaw, or temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This hinge joint allows your mouth to open and close properly. If this joint isn’t functioning properly, headaches may occur. These headaches feel like a deep ache on the sides of the head or around the jaw.
The doctors at Noble Choice Chiropractic have specialized training in TMJ dysfunction and are able to help address the joint as well as headaches that follow.
These types of headaches occur after trauma such as an auto accident, sports accident or major fall. The pain may not be felt immediately after the concussion but can feel like tension, tightness or pressure in the head. Concussion headaches are also commonly associated with symptoms of difficulty concentrating, irritability and sleeplessness.
Our doctors at Noble Choice Chiropractic have extra training in concussion care. We are able to address the neurological signs of concussions and get you back to feeling your normal self faster.
Frequently Asked Questions About Headache Treatment
Is a chiropractor in Sun Prairie, WI good for headaches?
Absolutely! In fact, chiropractic care is one of the best conservative options for headache treatment. If you are sick of taking medication for your headaches, then chiropractic is a great alternative care for you.
When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?
As with any symptom, a headache is a sign that something is not functioning properly in your body. The sooner you address the cause of the headaches, the sooner you can start feeling better!
Do medical doctors recommend chiropractic for headaches?
We have several medical doctors and pain specialists in the area that recommend us for headache care. They recognize that headaches are caused by nerve dysfunction and chiropractics specialize in detecting and correcting this dysfunction.
Are chiropractors covered by insurance for headaches?
Most insurances have chiropractic coverage and we would be happy to check your benefits when you come in for your first appointment. If for some reason your insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic or you have a high deductible, we have affordable cash plans available.
Is chiropractic effective for migraines?
Yes! We have been able to help hundreds of people in Sun Prairie, WI with their headaches and migraines. A chiropractic adjustment helps to relieve pressure off the nerves in the neck that send pain signals to the brain.