…Get Rid of the CAUSE of the Headache!
Isn’t it the worst when you feel a headache coming on? Maybe it’s when you wake up, and you just feel rotten and your head is throbbing from the moment you wake up. Or maybe it comes on midmorning due to stress or something you’ve eaten. Sometimes we will tell ourselves it’s from too much or too little caffeine. Or sinus pressure. Oh and did we mention stress? Maybe we slept wrong or just had a terrible night of sleep in general. Or some combination of the above.
Then there are those of us who suffer from regular, frequent, or even chronic headaches. We try all sorts of strategies to feel better and have probably tried most of the OTC medicines and maybe even a few prescription options. But when you feel that headache or migraine coming on, all you really want to do is find a dark room and crawl in bed. The fact is, there are a lot of causes for headaches, and many treatments. But before you go reaching for the medicine bottle first, check out this quote from a Scottish medical journal recommending the diagnosis and treatment of headaches:
Clinicians should be aware that patients using any acute or symptomatic headache treatment are at risk of medication overuse headache. Patients with migraine, frequent headache and those using opioid-containing medications or overusing triptans are at most risk. Medication overuse results in the development of chronic daily headache. Stopping the overused medication usually results in improvement in headache frequency and severity. The risks of medication overuse headache should be discussed with all patients when initiating acute treatment for migraine.1
Yes, there is even a diagnosis for headaches known as “medication overuse headaches.” Once again, when we start by treating the symptom (headache pain), rather than looking for the cause (neck tension, poor diet, poor sleep habits) and treating them, we can and generally do make matters worse. In fact, the number one way to effectively treat and cure the occasional, frequent, regular, or even chronic headaches is through neck and spinal manipulation. Numerous evidence-based studies point to chiropractic care as the most effective way to solve most headache problems. And in this case the only known side effect is… you might feel even better than you expected!
1. http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/sign107.pdf Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (November 2008). Diagnosis and management of headache in adults. Edinburgh. ISBN 978-1-905813-39-1.