“Not today, I have a headache.”
In some facets of daily life, this is not an excuse to be less productive. Unless you’ve got a real whopper of a headache, you can’t justifiably “opt out” of work and go home to rest. Think about how many people “tough it out” and work through their headache. That can’t be very productive.
The World Health Organization looked into it and published a report entitled “Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011” which concluded:
Headache disorders are ubiquitous, prevalent, disabling and largely treatable, but under-recognized, under-diagnosed and under-treated. Illness that could be relieved is not, and burdens, both individual and societal, persist. financial costs to society through lost productivity are enormous – far greater than the health-care expenditure on headache in any country.
Health care for headache must be improved, and education is required at multiple levels to achieve this. Most importantly, health-care providers need better knowledge of how to diagnose and treat the small number of headache disorders that contribute substantially to public ill-health. Given the very high indirect costs of headache, greater investment in health care that treats headache effectively, through well-organized health services and supported by education, may well be cost-saving overall.
So here’s our contribution toward improving knowledge of how to treat one type: the tension headache (officially referred to as the “tension-type headache” by the International Headache Society; others are migraine, cluster and other trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias). Consider chiropractic care as your first line therapy. Joint manipulation and neck mobilization, along with stretching and strengthening exercises, have been demonstrated to be effective. Massage and other forms of soft-tissue treatment are often helpful as well.
Headaches and migraines are often caused by subluxations (misalignment of the vertebrae) in the cervical spine. Although taking pain medication might help momentarily, it may not be an effective long-term solution. Have you ever asked yourself why you keep getting headaches? We’ve successfully treated hundreds of patients suffering from headaches — with pain ranging from daily tension headaches to debilitating migraines precluding any work or play activity. Even if your headache is minor in comparison, don’t put off the urge to get help. Our results with chiropractic treatment have been positively overwhelming.
We firmly agree with the University of Maryland Medical Center’s plurality of remedies, but we agree most with their summary of chiropractic care:
Several clinical trials indicate that spinal manipulation therapy may help treat tension headaches, especially ones that start in the neck. One study compared spinal manipulation to Elavil and found that people in both groups got better, while those in the spinal manipulation group had less side effects. The benefits of spinal manipulation lasted longer: One month after treatment, the chiropractic group still showed improvement, while the Elavil group did not. Another study found a 50% reduction of headache severity after a single 10-minute spinal manipulation session. However, other studies comparing chiropractic to a sham treatment plus massage found no benefit.
If you suffer through chronic tension-type headaches, we’d love to talk to you. We may be able to help!