Chronic headache and low back pain are the most common medical complaints among adults in the United States, and fortunately both can be relieved or cured through non-invasive therapies. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sufferers are prescribed medication as treatment for these problems that require a more natural, less aggressive approach. Taking painkillers, such as Aspirin or Tylenol, for chronic headaches is a common recommendation made by medical professionals. Ironically, this can make headaches even worse after the effects of the drug wear off, also known as rebound headaches. It is, of course, substantially easier to prescribe drugs that cause temporary relief than to identify the root of the problem and work hard to achieve natural and safe correction or cure. Moreover, patients frequently don’t make the distinction between the different types of headaches, and attempt to achieve relief by taking drugs that may not work for them. At the Advanced Health & Physical Medicine, highly talented chiropractors, medical personnel and massage therapists put a lot of effort into accurately evaluating the cause of chronic headache, identify the triggers and apply gentle, non-invasive treatment that addresses the root of the problem depending on the specific diagnosis. What are the main types of headache and how are they treated through a natural, drug-free approach?
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches. They may occur at any time, but happen more frequently after prolonged periods of stress or physical activity. They are less severe than migraine headaches, and the sufferer usually can continue his or her activities even though productivity may decrease significantly. Unlike sinus headaches or migraines, they usually don’t have collateral symptoms. If a person experiences pressure or tension in the back of the skull, which may extend towards the forehead and cause pain, with no other bothersome symptoms and no identifiable pattern, then, most likely, they have tension headaches. Advanced Health & Physical Medicine specialists are able to treat chronic tension headaches by relaxing the neck muscles, correcting the natural neck vertebral curves, relieving the compression on the spinal nerves and improving neck vertebral architecture and mechanics. If a person has some degree of vertebral displacement or disc herniation in the neck, then the neck muscles are contracting more than usual to compensate for the inadequate vertebral mechanics and offer additional support, which translates into tension headaches. Non-invasive therapies, such as neuromuscular re-education, chiropractic spinal adjustments, massage therapy or disc decompression, are implemented to correct any vertebral misalignments and then relax and “reprogram” the neck muscles to relieve tightness and spasms.
If a person is suffering from recurring chronic headaches that can be linked to a specific trigger, such as mental stress, physical exertion, certain foods or drinks, or medication, accompanied by other signs, then they may have migraines. The distinctive feature of migraines is that they follow a pattern. They are usually severe and long enough to stop the person from performing any work activities. The duration of a migraine attack may be from four hours to several days. A migraine is not simply a headache, and it usually associates with other signs, such as visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting, intolerance of light or loud sound, digestive disturbances or tingling in the limbs. The migraine headache is almost always one-sided and presents itself as a throbbing pain. Migraines have a genetic component, tend to run in families and can be prevented by avoiding the trigger or using medication. However, migraines are also worsened by improper neck mechanics and neck muscle spasms. Many migraine sufferers found substantial relief at Advanced Health & Physical Medicine in Greenville, NC through non-invasive treatments that relax the neck muscles, correct the vertebral alignment, stress relief and lifestyle adjustments. It is important to distinguish migraine headaches from tension headaches, although both may be relieved through improvement of spinal mechanics and neck muscle relaxation. However, the distinction is essential because drugs that may relieve simple tension headaches are frequently ineffective and even counterproductive for migraine sufferers, who require more extensive evaluation at Advanced Health & Physical Medicine and treatment through drug-free therapies.
Sinus headaches are caused by pressure that occurs in the skull sinuses during inflammation or pus collection provoked by sinus infection or an allergic reaction. The headache is actually a secondary symptom, and it usually disappears when the infection or allergy is treated through proper sinus drainage, antibiotics, decongestants or antihistamine drugs. Sinus headaches may be accompanied by fever, nasal congestion and discharge, pressure on the cheekbones or watery eyes. Diagnosing sinus headaches is actually the same as diagnosing an infection or an allergy so the focus is on eliminating the underlying cause, which relieves the headache naturally. Sinus headaches don’t follow any specific time patterns, as in the case of tension headaches or migraines, but they may be more frequent in cold conditions or upon exposure to allergens. At Advanced Health & Physical Medicine, highly skilled medical staff can effectively evaluate headaches and devise appropriate, drug-free treatment that leads to gradual and permanent relief. Unnecessary medication overuse and side effects can be prevented by benefiting from professional diagnosis of your headaches and a gentle treatment approach that addresses the root of the problem rather than treating isolated symptoms.