Headaches are extremely common – most people have a headache at some time in their life. Most headaches disappear on their own (with a little time) or with the help of mild pain relievers. Although most headaches are mild and temporary annoyances, some people have headaches that are so severe they need to consult a doctor for pain relief.
A headache disorder characterized by repeated attacks of severe headache. A severe headache causes throbbing or pulsating pain, usually on only one side of the head. These headaches are often associated with nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound; they generally last between four hours and three days. Severe headaches, which are often misdiagnosed as sinus or tension headaches, are severe enough to interfere with sleep, work, and other everyday activities. They may occur as often as several times per week or as rarely as once or twice a year.
Severe Headaches can be caused by a number of factors. Many Severe headaches can be traced to neck, jaw (TMJ) or cranial bone (head) misalignment causing stress to the nerves, which in turn affect blood flow.
When the bones of the spine or head lose their normal position or motion (spinal subluxation or spinal misalignment), the sensitive nerves and blood vessels to the head become compromised. When these delicate tissues are irritated, they can produce certain types of headaches.
The nerves of the neck, jaw or head when irritated can lead to head pain. Sometimes the pain can radiate into the face or eyes. These headaches can make it difficult to think clearly and function.
Misalignments of the spinal vertebrae can occur during the birth process, falls, sports activities, motor vehicle accidents, sudden injury to the jaw, head or neck area, bad posture, food reaction (food allergies), medication side effects, sinus problems or simply the stresses of daily living. Hence, It is very common for headache and/or migraine headache sufferers to experience neck pain and stiffness.
Nerve irritation is the leading cause of headache pain for many sufferers. One study, conducted at the University of Maryland, found a connection between muscle tension at the base of the neck and headaches. Muscle contractions interfere with the sensitive fibers at the base of the neck that lead to the brain and spinal cord. This muscle tension often plays a contributing factor to headache pain. Another study conducted by Dr. Wright found that the vast majority of migraine headache sufferers has misalignments of the spinal vertebrae (subluxation) in the neck that was placing pressure on the spinal nerves.
Medical doctors generally treat severe headache symptoms with medications, such as beta-blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medications and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Regularly taking some of the most popular painkillers on the market [paracetamol, aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen six or seven days per week over a two-year period] is linked to a much greater risk of stroke and heart attack from higher blood pressure, according to research from a large American study.
Powerful drugs can numb your nervous system so the pain doesn’t register. While these approaches may be convenient, they can cause adverse effects and kidney or liver damage. Worse, they don’t correct the underlying cause of the headache.
• Rest your eyes periodically. Tension headaches are often caused by eye fatigue.
• Close your eyes, cup them with the palms of your hands, and apply light pressure for 2 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if your vision is blurry for a few seconds when you finish.
• If you work on the computer, take a 10-minute screen break every hour. This is also a good idea if you’re in a movie theater or watching television.
• Massage the temples, shoulders, back of the head, and neck, or any other area where you feel tension. Tense areas are easy to recognize because they feel tight and hard. Tension in the head, neck, and shoulders can often be the cause of headaches.
• Drink herbal tea. Many herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, are said to have calming properties. Of course, the simple act of sipping a hot beverage from a mug is also psychologically calming, so be sure to go by whatever feels best.
• Acupressure: is helpful for some people. There are pressure points on both sides of the nose near your nostrils that when pressed gently for a of couple minutes can provide relief. Other points that work are where the ridge of your eyebrows connects with the bridge of your nose.
• Sleep: Sometimes simply lying down and going to sleep for a little bit can work wonders
• Chiropractic care: Patients suffering from various types of headaches undergo chiropractic adjustments, along with other chiropractic care methods including massage and trigger point therapy. These methods can either be done alone or in combination with one another to realign the skeletons and eliminate the cycle of pain. It can also help to release muscular tension that could bring about moderate to severe levels of pain.
Patients suffering from severe headaches are recommended to undergo several sessions to find effective relief and treatment from their condition. This comes as a result of reducing the amount of nerve irritation and facilitate in muscle relaxation. For a more effective long-term treatment plan against headaches, chiropractors recommend regular exercise, stretching, proper posture, and relaxation techniques to help alleviate the pain and symptoms of this condition.
Chiropractic care may help prevent unnecessary tension and/or irritation in the neck and head. In some instances, chiropractic adjustments (specific spinal manipulations) can provide immediate relief for headache victims. A study of 87 headache victims who were treated with chiropractic adjustments over a two-year period revealed marked improvement. The common migraine had ceased altogether or was much improved in 85 percent of the females and 50 percent of the males. For those with classical migraine, the improvement rate was 78 percent in females and 75 percent in males.
Every headache victim is an individual case and may require special instructions or recommendations from their chiropractor. If your condition requires the attention of other health care specialists, your chiropractor will refer you to them.