How to Treat a Headache

After back pain and neck pain, headaches are the most common condition that our chiropractors treat at Canary Wharf Chiropractic. Headaches are varied in nature and can be due to a number of causes.  

A common type of headache is one that arises from the neck, also known as a cervicogenic headache.  This is when the headache itself is actually a referred type of pain from the neck, perhaps from the muscles in the region of the joints between the bones of the spine.

This is a problem that can respond very well to the treatment and advice offered by a chiropractor.

photo of a man holding his head in pain

Treatment for Headaches

Although no two cases are exactly the same there are some features of cervicogenic headaches that are common.  If you are suffering with them you may have noticed feeling some pain or tension in the neck or at the base of your skull, or feeling it on just one side of the head.  You may also have noticed that some of the muscles of your neck are tender when pressed or that you have a restricted range of motion of your neck.

It is always important to thoroughly and carefully assess headaches. Once this is done, if it is determined that you are suffering with cervicogenic headaches we will discuss the treatment options with you and make a treatment plan to try and get rid of them as soon as possible.

The treatment you receive will be a package of care that may include specific adjustments to the joints in the neck, known as spinal manipulation. It may be that some work on the muscles is needed, or some stretching and mobilisation of the spine would help. Sometimes cervicogenic headaches respond well to acupuncture.

Home exercises, postural tips and ergonomic advice will also be given to address any imbalances and possible attributing factors.

The reason it is always important to thoroughly and carefully carry out a headache assessment is because sometimes a headache is a sign of an underlying condition that requires further investigation or a different kind of treatment, for instance high blood pressure. Headaches can also sometimes be due to a head injury, side effects from medication or sinus congestion.

If your chiropractor suspects that your headache is due to another such reason you will be referred to your GP or another specialist. Fortunately this is not commonly required, and a headache is usually not due to something serious.

The frequency and severity of a cervicogenic headache can vary greatly but those who suffer from this type of headache can experience it on a daily basis until effective treatment is carried out.

Even when you are better you will need to ensure the problem does not return. This can be helped by avoiding prolonged periods of sitting (especially in a bad posture), getting enough rest, keeping hydrated during the day and exercising regularly.

Treatment with a chiropractor can also help in the prevention of migraines.

Migraines can be a very difficult problem to have to deal with and there are many different types of treatment with varied outcomes.

Whilst any treatment you have with us for migraines will definitely not provide a cure, the aim will be to reduce pain intensity and frequency, and to deal with the effects a migraine attack has on the body, such as increased muscles tension and stiffness of the neck.