If you were to take a poll on the most annoying, distracting, and debilitating physical discomforts, head pain would likely be near the top of the list. When you're in the throes of a headache or migraine attack, you may not be able to work, play sports, run your household, sleep through the night, or even think clearly. Drugs may numb the occasional passing headache, but they can't make much of a dent in chronic conditions. If you want more lasting solutions to your headache or migraine problem, turn to Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture. Our Omaha chiropractor, Dr. Kevin Kosak, can address the underlying causes and triggers of your condition, treating your symptoms right at the source.
Why and How Headaches Happen
Headaches can prove both painful and bewildering. Head pain may occur for all kinds of reasons, including such specialized situations as concussions, brain tumors, hangovers, and reactions to environmental toxins. But when recurring or constant headache pain is involved, most people think of three categories of headaches:
Tension Headaches - Tension headaches are quite literally the result of muscle tension in the neck -- often related to a musculoskeletal imbalance in the cervical spine. Your neck has several small muscles located at or near the base of the skull. One of these, the RCPM muscle, attaches to a pain-sensitive tissue called the dura mater. When the RCPM muscle goes into spasms, contractions pull on the dura mater, which responds with pain signals. Since the dura mater covers the entire brain surface, you may feel this diffuse, achy pain anywhere (or everywhere) in the head.
Cluster Headaches - Cluster headaches are (thankfully) much less common than tension headaches. These intense headaches, which are typically felt in or near the eye, may occur in clusters of attacks over a period of weeks, sometimes waiting months or years to attack again. While nobody knows why certain people might be predisposed to cluster headaches, this form of pain has been associated with nerve impingement and muscular tension in the upper cervical spine.
Migraine Headaches - Migraine headaches are feared, not only for the intensity of the pain they cause but also for the variety of other symptoms they can produce. A migraine headache may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sensitivity to light/sound stimuli, and impaired vision. Vulnerable individuals may have their particular migraines set off by flashing lights, certain foods, muscular tension, emotional stress, hormonal changes, or some other trigger. These mysterious attacks may originate in neurotransmitter imbalances that cause nerves to misfire and cranial blood pressure to spike.
We may also recommend nutritional and lifestyle counseling to help prevent you from triggering migraine attacks, or corrective exercises to help you keep your neck straight and balanced.
The Limitations of Medication
Over-the-counter pain relievers have some built-in limitations that make them only minimally effective against headaches. For one thing, these drugs are only effective for a few hours, which may not be sufficient for some serious headaches. Additionally, they only mute your current symptoms without doing anything to treat the cause of those symptoms -- leaving you as prone as always to future painful attacks. Even advanced drugs administered by a physician can only address your current agony, not your ongoing headache problem.
Natural Treatment Options From Our Omaha Chiropractor
Our Omaha chiropractor can go beyond drugs to provide the musculoskeletal care necessary to address many chronic headache issues. Once we have studied your medical history, spinal alignment, and symptoms, we can devise a personalized pain management program that includes:
Chiropractic adjustment - Cervical spinal adjustments can correct small imbalances that may be affecting the weight distribution of your skull on your neck. This can greatly relieve the muscular spasms that lead to tension headaches. Upper cervical adjustment, in particular, may reduce your vulnerability to cluster headaches. Chiropractic care has even shown an ability to reduce migraine intensity and frequency.
Acupuncture - Acupuncture can ease headache pain by promoting the release of endorphins (natural painkilling substances produced in the body), reducing muscular tension, and normalizing nerve signals. Studies indicate that a course of acupuncture treatment can actually improve migraine symptoms for months at a time. If you have a fear of needles, you'll love the fact that we can use needle-free electric acupuncture techniques to treat your symptoms.
Contact Us for Headache and Migraine Care
No matter how strong your headaches maybe, you're stronger -- and our natural healing modalities can help your body prove it. Contact our Omaha clinic at (402) 964-0300
to schedule a consultation, learn more about the underlying causes of your headache pain, and get started on a drug-free program of headache treatment in Omaha to keep your symptoms at bay!