Tag Archives: relief

Headaches – An Informative Post

There are many different types of headaches, but of all the people with headaches out there 90% of them have cervicogenic (tension) headaches.  These are headaches caused by a poorly functioning neck.  These are usually described as tightness, stiffness, or a pressure.

There are other kinds of headaches, migraines for example are periodic, severe, throbbing headaches that usually last more than a few hours, but less than a day.  They can make the sufferer sensitive to light and sound, and cause nausea even vomiting.  Migraines affect women more often than men.  Migraines are commonly heard of and talked about because of their severity, but are much more rare than cervicogenic headaches.

Billions of dollars are spent on headaches each year in the United States.  Headaches are a major cause of lost productivity and time off work.  One of the top reasons for seeking treatment, headaches are big money for drug companies, and big losses to businesses.

People can end up with a headache from stress, a car accident, whiplash, or any kind of trauma.  Headaches can occur a day or even weeks after the initial injury due to the cumulative nature of those kinds of injuries.  Many people think their headaches come on for no reason at all, but if they think back they will remember an accident, increased stress, playing to hard on the weekend, or something a few days ago.

Treatment for headaches traditionally has been over the counter analgesics and NSAIDS, and even stronger medications for more severe symptoms.  These medications can cause serious side effects, and recent studies indicate that we as a country may be over using these to the extent that thousands of people have serious complications every year from these relatively safe drugs.  Many times these pain medications do not work, and can even cause what is termed “analgesic rebound headaches.”

Chiropractic has a great success rate with treating headaches.  It has been found to be better at providing pain relief (with less side effects) and reducing frequency than medication.  Chiropractic addresses the root cause rather than just the symptoms.  When treating your headaches your chiropractor (which could be me if you’re in Utah) should be addressing 3 major things: First reducing the pain, second improving neck function overall, and third proper strengthening of the neck to reduce future risk of re-injury.  While chiropractic is particularly good at resolving cervicogenic headaches it has also been shown to be effective with some types of migraines, and other headaches.

If you are experiencing headaches, don’t reach for that Aspirin bottle.  Reach for the phone and contact your chiropractor.  You will receive better, safer relief, and have less chance of recurrence.

Can Chiropractic Make Pregnancy Easier?

This question I get a lot. If you have a question about chiropractic please ask in a comment. To the question, statistically yes. Regular chiropractic care has been shown to decrease the overall risk of complications and C-sections in recent research. Your chiropractor should not be a replacement for your midwife or OB/Gyn if you have one, but his treatments should be complimentary to regular pregnancy monitoring.

Chiropractic is a great way to treat pregnancy related back, muscle and joint pain. In that situation drugs are not the best option as most drugs can have unwanted or unknown side effects on the baby, not to mention the mother. The reason that pregnancies go better with chiropractic care seems to be the same reason that exercise improves your quality of life. If you improve the ability of the body to perform at its best things go wrong less often. Chiropractic can help to improve your bodies function. In the case of pregnancy the better prepared your body is to carry and deliver your child the less complications you are likely to experience.

Many patients appreciate regular chiropractic during pregnancy. I also recommend husbands come with wives to at least one pregnancy treatment as I can teach them many ways to provide relief when she can’t get in to see me. You can check out my site for additional info and useful links on this topic.

Cold Laser Therapy and de Quervain’s

People have been asking lately about laser therapy, so I thought I’d explain it a little and sneak in a quick condition at the same time.

De Quervain’s is the name for tenosynovitis of the thumb extender and abductor muscles.  Which is to say the tendons that move your thumb hurt at the wrist because inflammation isn’t allowing them to move properly.  It is more common in women, but anyone doing repetitive motions with their thumb such as typing, cashiering, mechanics, etc. is susceptible.  If you have it you may notice a “squeaky thumb,” pain when moving your thumb and decreased grip strength.  In my experience this condition doesn’t usually go away on it’s own.  Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome it just keeps coming back unless you receive proper care.

Many things are done for treatment of this condition.  Chiropractic manipulation and massage of the area are beneficial as well as reducing use.  You’ll likely need to talk with your employer about decreasing or changing your duties for a time while you heal.  There are also many electrical modalities that are beneficial for de Quervain’s.

That’s where the Cold Laser comes in.  Cold Laser is called many names but it is all the same thing, particular light waves that have been found to increase cellular metabolism.  In essence when exposed to these wavelengths of light your cells heal faster, and hurt less.  That’s a good thing.

LLLTIt’s an odd sort of treatment because you normally don’t feel anything at the time.  Kind of like magic with good research behind it.  We just put this wand with a laser or LEDs on the injured area and hold it there for a few moments with the light on.  The reason I bring Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) up with this condition is the relief time.  Generally speaking my patients are able to notice effects of LLLT within the first day, but I had a patient with de Quervain’s who claimed instantaneous relief with LLLT.  It was amazing to me and worth reporting to you.

So, if you have pain at your wrist from thumb movement visit your chiropractor and ask them about Cold Laser Treatment.

Migraine Help

Julia Freeman

Image by: Julia Freeman

Migraines are different from your average headache.  They usually build up over 1-2 hours; you can feel them coming.  They have a throbbing type pain and are only on one side of the head.  Migraines will last several hours, but won’t usually go beyond a day or two, though late effects of the migraine can be felt for even a week after, this is recovery time.

All migraines are not equal some are thought to be caused by vascular issues thus foods or activities that affect your blood supply are often triggers.  Some are thought to be caused by abnormal brain activity or nervous function.  There is no one treatment that works on all migraines.

Migraines will go away on their own with time or sleep, but you don’t have to just accept them.  Some basic things can drastically help reduce the symptoms of migraines, even without medication. First, know your triggers, and avoid them.  Migraines are usually “brought on” by something.  Triggers are different for everyone, monitor what you do before a migraine to determine yours and avoid those things.  Food can be a trigger (such as chocolate, alcohol, MSG, cheese, sugar, citrus fruit, etc.).  Stress, hormonal changes, allergies, even exercise can be a migraine trigger.

Second, take advantage of early warning signs and intervene.  In my treatment of migraines I’ve found that patients who treat the early signs have less severe symptoms and are sometimes able to avoid the migraine all together.  Two forms of intervention care that have helped my patients are: an ice pack on the back of your neck at the base of your skull, and chiropractic manipulation.  I have seen the reduction of many migraines with these two methods, research puts the effectiveness number somewhere around 70%.  Another method that some of my patients find effective in this early stage is a hot bath.  These methods fit in with the vascular theory of migraines by balancing systems, reducing the blood flow to the head or increasing it to the rest of the body.  These are not the only options.  Find what works for you.

Lastly, sometimes you can’t stop the migraine if it’s there and unavoidable, sleep.  Sleep is the number one way of getting over a migraine. It allows your body to return to a balanced state and passes time, which is what your body needs to recover.