Q: I get headaches every day. Once a month or so, they become so intense that I cannot go to work or even get out of bed. What is wrong with me? I am told that there is nothing they can find and I am just taking medicine that is not fixing the headaches. Can you do anything for me?
A: There’s no one-size-fits-all type of headache. There are lots of factors that can cause or contribute to one. They can range from stress and eye strain to genetic factors or a sinus infection. Some, though, are caused by the misalignment of neck or cranial bones that could be the result of some sort of trauma or just everyday wear and tear. I would say that a vast majority of headache sufferers have this problem at least contributing to the pain. If vertebrae in the cervical spine—the upper portion of the neck—are out of line, they can irritate muscles of the neck and skull, and nerves that cause a headache that can radiate from the neck across the top of the skull and around the ears.
A chiropractor, perhaps after using an x-ray as part of the examination, can determine if a misalignment is at the root of the problem. If there is no misalignment, the chiropractor, as he or she would do in all such cases, would advise the patient or refer him to another health-care provider. But if problem exists, a chiropractic adjustment can be effective in eliminating the cause of the headache. It sounds too easy, I am aware. But I have noticed that the vast majority of headaches are either corrected or largely relieved both in intensity and frequency by proper treatment of the neck using the adjustment, massage, and/or physical therapy. Don’t let anyone tell you that you just have to live with your headaches. If you have not tried chiropractic treatment for them, you may be missing the largest piece of the puzzle. I know that chiropractic is often looked at as a treatment for back pain, but it has been shown to be very effective when tried against other forms of treatment for headache too.
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