Are you one of the many that suffer from chronic headaches and migraines?
Most of the office workers in the Denver Tech Center and the Denver Metro area can probably relate to having headaches. According to the World Health Organization, 50-75% of all adults have headaches and 30% experience migraines.
Headaches are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system, and the most common form is the tension headache. That is bad news for all the busy professionals and office workers here in the Denver Tech Center. The good news is that tension headaches are the most treatable.
Tension headaches are often caused by musculoskeletal imbalances in the neck and shoulders. These imbalances are frequently caused by chronic stress associated with poor posture. Most of us spend a significant portion of our day looking down at screens or sitting at a desk in a slouched position. These damaging postures will eventually take a hefty toll on the joints and muscles of our spine.
What Causes Headaches and Migraines?
The constant burden of physical and mental stresses at work leads to the tightening of the muscles in the spine. This tightening will not only restrict movement but will cause compression of the joints and restrict blood flow to the tissues. This compromised blood flow will negatively affect the nerves, which often leads to unwanted sensations like pain and numbness.
This restriction of movement and lack of proper nerve function transfers directly to our head and neck. Decreased blood flow to the head that negatively affects the nerves is the primary cause of headaches. They can also be caused by sports-related injuries or trauma inflicted by a car accident to the head and neck.
Instead of using natural therapies to address tension headaches, commonly people will use over the counter drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Aspirin works by targeting the blood vessels and causing an increase of blood flow to the nerves of the head and neck. Ibuprofen works by reducing the number of chemicals in the blood that triggers pain and inflammations.
These can both be effective ways to reduce the pain associated with headaches, but they do not correct the problem that led to the headaches in the first place. For this reason, a person often has to take over the counter medications regularly, which can lead to complications. If aspirin is taken at high doses for extended periods of time, it can increase the risk for bleeding in the stomach, small intestine, and brain.
Chronic usage of ibuprofen has been linked with bleeding of the stomach and kidney damage. The best way to address tension headaches is to address the cause of the dysfunction: chronic restriction of the muscles and joints of the neck and spine. Ideally, restoring joint movement in the spine and loosening the muscles will reduce headache frequency and intensity.
How Chiropractic Adjustments and Massage Therapy help with Headaches
Regular chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy does just that. Manual manipulation or adjustment of the neck and upper back addresses joint restrictions that were caused by poor posture, muscular tension, fatigue, or injuries. Increasing the range of motion in the vertebrae improves blood circulation, decreases pain and promotes improved posture.
Massage and bodywork target the surrounding soft tissues of the neck, head, shoulders, and upper back by relieving tension and improving muscular function. Combining massage with chiropractic care is your best bet for naturally treating tension headaches without unwanted side effects.
We have over 20 years of experience working with complex headache issues. Severe auto accident traumas, athletic neck, and head injuries, or just your day to day stress and tension from a busy day in the office, we have seen it all. If you are experiencing tension headaches and would like to address them, please contact us today.