Headache Treatment: A Spokane Valley WA Chiropractor’s Perspective
At River City Chiropractic Spokane Valley WA we see and help people with headaches on a daily basis. Approximately 90% of Americans report having at least one headache per year and 1/6 Americans report having chronic headache that occur multiple times per week! It is safe to say headaches are very common, but they are NOT normal! A headache or any symptom for that matter is a sign that your body is not functioning properly.
There are 2 approaches when it comes to treating headaches in Spokane Valley WA: mask the symptom or find and correct the cause. Most Americans unfortunately resort to masking the symptoms by reaching for over-the-counter pain relievers or worse highly addictive prescription painkillers. These are not a good long-term solution because as soon as the painkillers wear off the headaches just resume and regular use of these medications has been shown to increase the risk for GI bleeding, stroke, heart attacks, kidney or liver problems, or may even result in death.
Here at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA, we love to help people find and correct the cause of their headaches so they don’t just keep coming back. There are, however, many different things that can cause headaches such as stress, toxins, mold, dehydration, or spinal misalignments called subluxations to name a few. At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we are experts at finding and correcting subluxations of the spine as well as providing lifestyle recommendations to help eliminate headaches for good. To best determine the cause of your headaches it is always best to meet with a health professional for a consultation, exam, and any necessary lab or diagnostic testing that may need to be performed.
How We Treat Headaches In Spokane Valley WA
Comprehensive Consultation, Exam, and X-Rays
Treating headaches begins with identifying the root cause which is why every new patient encounter at our Spokane Valley WA chiropractic office involves a comprehensive history to find out what has happened in the past and present along with lifestyle choices that may be causing the headaches.
The next step would be a thorough exam consisting of postural and range of motion analysis, orthopedic and neurological testing, bilateral weight testing, spinal motion palpation, and if necessary spinal x-rays to determine the exact location, extent of the damage, and formulate a custom careplan to help correct the headaches.
Corrective Chiropractic Care In Spokane Valley WA For Headache Relief
Our office in Spokane Valley WA specializes in spinal corrective care. Only a small percentage of chiropractors have this approach and training. Frequently headaches are caused by spinal misalignments, also known as subluxations, or loss of the normal spinal curvature in the neck. When people lose the natural curvature or have subluxations that can cause irritation or compression of the spinal nerves, tension of the spinal cord, or lead to spinal degeneration.
The upper neck is most often the area that is out of alignment resulting in headaches. Our goal at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA is to not only help people get relief from their headaches, but also to correct their spine and posture so the issues don’t continue to come back through spinal adjustments and a comprehensive spinal exercise program performed in office as well as at home.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Program
At River City Chiropractic we custom make a home exercise program and provide spinal homecare equipment that helps our patients get better and long-lasting results. Following a thorough exam/xray and report of findings our doctor at River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA will create a home exercise plan that is specific to your posture and x-ray findings. With this program comes some special spinal rehab equipment to help our patients in Spokane Valley WA get better results, faster. We also have access to a database of 1000’s of stretches/exercises with videos that can be prescribed to our patients to help them with core stability or address any other muscle weakness or tightness concerns. These exercises are designed to help people get relief faster, hold adjustments longer, preventing further degeneration, and restoring the natural curvature in the neck.
Cervical Spinal Decompression Spokane Valley WA
Sometimes headaches can be related to bulging or degenerating discs in the neck. When one or both of these is occurring, it can irritate or inflame the nerves leading to a headache.
At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we use a special spinal decompression chair called the Back On Trac. This chair has several protocols that can be used to gently stretch the cervical spine (neck) while also helping to restore the normal curvature. This treatment helps to decrease the pressure on the spinal discs and nerves combined with the corrective chiropractic care at River City Chiropractic Spokane Valley WA we see great results in helping people get rid of their headaches.
Common Types of Headaches in Spokane Valley WA
One of the most common types of headaches we see in Spokane Valley WA. These headaches cause a mild-moderate ache that feels like a tight band around your head. These frequently stem from the neck or shoulders due to tight muscles from poor posture sitting or looking down a lot. If you experience tension headaches then it is important to have your spine and attaching muscles evaluated for tension or imbalances that may be triggering your headaches.
Another common type of headache seen at River City Chiropractic is a migraine headache. These headaches can be a bit more complicated because there are many different causes as well as presentations, but generally people in Spokane Valley WA who suffer from migraine headache experience nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity, throbbing or pulsing pain most often on one side of the head, and sometimes a “aura” or vision disturbance that looks like flashing lights, blurring or wavy lines.
Migraines can be very debilitating for people in Spokane Valley WA affecting their quality of life greatly. Migraine headaches can be cervicogenic in nature, meaning they originate in the cervical spine, which is why seeing a chiropractor to have your spine and nervous system checked should be a top priority if you suffer from migraine headaches.
Allergy or Sinus Headaches
The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull and face. The main job is to produce mucus that lines the nose or mouth and protects from bacteria or other harmful organisms. When the sinus cavities get inflamed from either an infection or allergies, they are not able to drain properly thus causing pressure to build up which can result in a headache.
These headaches feel like a deep, uncomfortable pressure behind the eyes, cheeks, or forehead. The pain typically worsens when you bend forward or lie down because it increases the pressure in the sinus cavities. At River City Chiropractic we regularly help people with sinus or allergy issues through corrective chiropractic care.
In our office in Spokane Valley WA we see many people who have been involved in motor vehicle crashes. A common injury sustained in a motor vehicle crash is whiplash, where the head quickly moves forward and then back damaging the spine and surrounding soft tissues. Whiplash headaches can be particularly painful because they involve both the head and the neck. Sometimes concussion-type symptoms can be present, and people often have limited range of motion with pain starting at the base of the skull. Chiropractic care combined with some physical therapy or soft tissue work is the most effective road to recovery from whiplash.
This is another common type of headache we encounter at River City Chiropractic. With this type of headache along with several others the pain actually comes from problems in the neck. These can result from injury, poor sleep position, work, etc. The pain generally starts in the back of the head and wraps around to the front. The headache is often seen with pain or stiffness in neck. Chiropractic care is excellent at helping people with cervicogenic headaches reduce pain and improve range of motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do chiropractors in Spokane Valley WA help with headaches?
Absolutely! Headaches are one of the symptoms we see most often and have excellent success with helping people in Spokane Valley WA find and correct the cause of their headaches.
When should I see a chiropractor for headaches?
A dentist would tell you not to wait until your tooth hurts to brush and floss and get regular dental check-ups. Ideally, it is best to see a chiropractor before you start having symptoms such as headaches because by the time symptoms appear the problem has typically been there for a while. So, the answer would be to see a chiropractor as soon as possible to find out what is causing the headaches and get your quality of life back.
Is massage or chiropractic better for headaches?
They both can be helpful to relieve headaches and work really well in conjunction with each other, massage is a bit more limited in the types of headaches that it can help and often the reason people experience the tension in neck or upper back that results in headaches is due to postural or structural problems with their spine. So, it is generally best to see a chiropractor first to have a complete exam and x-ray done to determine the right treatment approach for you.
Can getting your neck adjusted help with headaches?
More than likely, it can! At River City Chiropractic in Spokane Valley WA we perform a comprehensive spinal analysis to look for subluxations or misalignments of the spine. When the neck is out of normal alignment or has lost the proper curvature, the nerves can get irritated or inflamed resulting in headaches, migraines, or tension in the neck/upper back. By correcting these problems, we have helped many people reduce or completely eliminate their headaches!
What is a natural way to relieve headaches?
There are many natural ways to help relieve headaches, how effective they are will ultimately rely on what is causing the headaches in the first place. Some of the top tips for headache relief are to drink plenty of water, try using magnesium spray or gel, essential oils like peppermint or lavender can be helpful to relieve headaches, or roll up a small towel to place under your neck to support the natural curvature.
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