Life can be a headache. So are work, chores, traffic, and the after-school pick-up line. But for chronic headache and migraine sufferers, this pain is more than just frustrating. Doctors explain that “migraine itself is the second most disabling condition in the world in terms of years lost to disability. And if you look at populations of people under 50, it’s the first most disabling condition yet many people go undiagnosed and untreated.” June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month and if you or someone you love suffers, reach out to Dr. Chani Henderson at Family & Sports Chiropractic Clinic for an adjustment or treatment plan today.
Many things can trigger a powerful headache. Dehydration, allergies, stress, mood, posture, weather changes, and even ice cream. But serious headaches typically fall into one of three categories: tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches.
Chiropractic Care and Headache or Migraine Relief
As the name suggests, these are often caused by stress. But they can also be set off by alcohol, caffeine, teeth grinding, and exhaustion. Their symptoms include “dull pressure around the head. You may also feel muscle tightness in your head or neck. The pain is usually mild to moderate and is not accompanied by other symptoms. Tension headaches can last from half an hour to a week.”
Stronger, more debilitating, and with unknown cause, migraine impacts “forty million people in the United States, one billion people across the globe, and is recognized as the #2 cause of disability worldwide,” according to the National Headache Foundation. There is much we don’t know about migraines but therapies like chiropractic care and massage therapy have been shown to help.
These are headaches on one side of your head and sometimes come with physical symptoms (stuffy nose, drooping eyelid) on that side as well. They have a burning or sharp pain and are often genetically passed down within families.
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month hopes to raise awareness and provide education to help those who suffer. The International Headache Society also believes in the importance of educating doctors and caregivers in the medical field. They’ve created helpful videos with information on how to verify and treat migraines so patients aren’t living with the frustration of undiagnosed pain.
Some headaches and headache pain can be addressed with your chiropractor. The American Chiropractic Association reports “that spinal manipulation—one of the primary treatments provided by doctors of chiropractic—may be an effective treatment option for tension headaches and headaches that originate in the neck…Doctors of chiropractic undergo extensive training to help their patients in many ways beyond just treatment for low back pain. They know how tension in the spine relates to problems in other parts of the body, and they can take steps to relieve those problems.”
The ACA says that when seeing a patient for migraine or headache, chiropractors may perform an adjustment to realign the overall spine. They may also offer basic nutritional, exercise, ergonomic, and relaxation tools to address future flare-ups. With Dr. Henderson, a consultation and examination are the first step. She asks questions about your past medical history and goals for the future and clearly explains how she may help along the way. With a commitment to transparency and individualized, case-by-case treatment, patients always know what to expect.
If you’d like to participate in Migraine and Headache Awareness Month advocacy, there are events planned throughout the entire month of June. June 1 focuses on Migraine at Work, June 6 spotlights Veterans with Headache Diseases, June 7 is a day of remembrance. June 18 looks at Headache Diseases and Men, June 19 addresses Disparities in Headache, and June 21 raises awareness through #ShadesForMigraine. June 23 showcases Migraine During Pregnancy & Lactation, and June 29 is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day.
Local groups like Miles for Migraine are hosting fundraising walks nationwide and Cure for Cluster’s virtual 5k Run/Walk is raising money for cluster headache research. However you choose to help—walking, running, or sharing a hashtagged selfie—is vitally important. Get the word out and topic trending any way you can!
Let’s face it, plenty of headaches are avoidable…and our own fault. Eating regular, healthy meals; limiting caffeine and alcohol; making time for sleep and exercise; taking breaks and de-stressing are easier said than done. But migraines, tension, and cluster headaches can stop you in your tracks. Helping to raise awareness and research funding mean a brighter, pain-free future—literally—for generations to come.