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Ep 378 – Why Does My Shoulder Crack, Pop, or Click?
Ep 377 – Trigger Points & Tight Muscles
Ep 373 – Improve Shoulder Rotation (Range of motion)
Ep 372 – Shoulder Dislocation & Instability Tests
Ep 369 – Best Exercise After a Shoulder Injury
Ep 368 – Does Your Knee Collapse During a Squat?
Ep 366 – Why Your Shoulder Always Hurts?
Ep 364 – Cervical Traction on Foam Roller
Ep 362 – Plantar Fascia & Foot Pain Stretch
Ep 360 – How Balance Improves Everything!
Ep 359 – How to Get Rid of Tension Headaches
How To Get Rid Of Tension Headaches?
There are several types of headaches out which are migraines, cluster, sinus, and tension headaches. Headaches are a very important topic because a lot of people suffer from them! As a matter of fact the WHO states that about 50% of people will suffer a headache this year alone.
These very common disorders are important to address because they are classified as a nervous system disorder and many people actually call out of work sick, have a decrease in performance, anxiety, depression, pain, etc as a result of these disorders. Headaches are very important to address because they impose a large financial cost on the individual and the economy (loss of pay, unproductive days, treatment costs, testing, medication). As a result, headaches are the number three cause of loss (years loss due to disability).
More specifically, tension headaches are the most common types of headaches and they appear to be the most preventable, manageable, and treatable type as well.
What Are Some Causes of Tension Headaches?
Tension headaches often occur as a result of muscle tension and tightness that occur at the back of the neck. Things that can increase tension within the head and neck muscles include stress, eye strain, sitting for long duration (office work), dehydration, caffeine overload or withdrawal, alcohol, physical pain, poor neck posture, hormones and much more.
Whatever the cause may be, anything that can cause the body to have a physiological response to these stressors can cause guarding or tightness into the upper neck and lead to headaches.
In reaction to many stressors, the spine plays a huge role as it houses the spinal cord and brain. There is evidence that too much tension within the neck, or poor alignment of the vertebrae can place pressure on the Dura Mater. This is part of the outside covering of the spinal cord and the Dura Mater actually has connections with the nerves, and is pain sensitive. Disruption to this tissue has been linked to headaches and neck pain.
What are the Symptoms of Tension Headaches?
Symptoms of tension headaches are often a feeling of tension and tightness that wrap along the top of the head and go across the forehead. Many patients report it feeling like a band-like pain across the head. In addition, there appears to be a lot of discomfort and tightness at the back of the neck and sometimes even the upper back.
Many people often state that they have nausea, difficulty concentrating, head pressure, and pain at the back of the neck.
What are Effective Treatments For Tension Headaches?
As a Sports Chiropractor, I have seen many headaches in my time and almost all of them (any type) have been helped, improved, or eliminated with specific types of Chiropractic Care. In the office we specialize in soft tissue techniques such as myofascial release, Graston Technique, Active Release Therapy, etc. These techniques help to improve the circulation of blood flow, help stretch out muscles, and improve the range of motion of a joint.
Using manual manipulation (adjustments) and soft tissue techniques have shown to help all types of headaches. This research study demonstrated that when practitioners used Manipulation in combination with soft tissue techniques the outcomes were much better and manipulation helped to improve range of motion within the cervical spine.
In addition, manipulation has been demonstrated to play a factor to alleviating pain and disruption to the meningeal layers (layers of spinal cord) that contribute to headaches.
What are Some Tips to Help Reduce Headaches?
Headaches can be reduced in many ways as their are often a lot of factors that can be at play.
- Food – Food truly is medicine but there can always be “healthy foods” that you may be allergic to and causing inflammation within the body. Be sure to add whole foods and emphasize fruits and veggies. Healthy fruits, veggies have strong phytochemicals that help battle toxins and keep you healthy.
- Water – While this may be obvious you would be surprised how many people are actually walking around dehydrated. Think about it, we have coffee before work (maybe two), a short lunch break and the average person typically has a soda or two a day as well. If you really want to increase your health you need to start with water! My suggestion is that you drink about 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day.
- Eye strain – We spend enormous amounts of time on the computer, phone, reading, and in front of LED lights. The eyes are a critical feedback system that integrates with the brain and eye movements even effect our muscles in the back of the neck directly. Taking frequent breaks from computers and sustained breaks prior to sleep can help with better sleep and control headaches throughout the day.
- Posture / Neck Tension – As we sit or if we have poor posture, this can allow our head to protrude out further and further. All of this can cause poor spinal alignment, compress the spine and spinal cord, add tension to the muscles and create chronic tightness in the back of the neck and upper back. Left unchecked, this is often the common cause of chronic headaches that do very well with Chiropractic care.
- Self Myofascial Release – Since sometimes its too late before we get a headache its a good way to learn how to treat them on our own! Using a tennis ball, myofasical release ball or lacrosse ball, we can compress and mash the muscles that are tight and tender. This helps to loosen the muscle and help prevent compression of the nerves in the back of the neck and takes pressure off the spine, spinal cord (all structures that contribute to headaches).
Do you Suffer from Headaches?
If so and you have not resolved them or want natural ways to do so I highly recommend you schedule appointment by clicking HERE
Ep 356 – Myofascial Release to the SCM for Headaches & Neck Pain
Ep 355 – Scapular & Shoulder Mobility Drill
Ep. 350 – How to Mash & Release the Upper Trap Muscle
Ep. 349 – How To Improve Mobility at The Office?
Ep 348 – Neck, Back, Ankle, Hip Adjustment & Hypervolt
Ep 347 – This Exercise is Killing Your Shoulder
Why Your Shoulder Still Hurts?
Not all exercises are created equal. As a Sports Chiropractor and shoulder specialist, we often see a lot of shoulder injuries & rotator cuff injuries but all of these injuries have one thing in common… poor movement of the scapula. This is called scapular dyskinesis and truly contributes to poor shoulder movements, increases the chances of neck pain and mid back pain as well.
Lets Talk Rotator Cuff
Many are familiar with the rotator cuff band exercises. You know the ones where we use a band and rotate inward and outward? Well, a lot (actually a ton) of people do this with weights in their hand but it is completely incorrect!!!
External rotation with the bands are fine but when it comes to using weights its pretty much useless. The reason is that there is no force to oppose that movement, meaning you need to have resistance. When you are holding weights in your hand the force of the weight (and gravity) is downward. When you are doing this exercise, you are holding the weight in your hand then rotating in external rotation. As a result, you are not activating the muscle within the rotator cuff and posterior shoulder girdle as effectively.
So what happens is people have to hold this weight in place (isometric hold) and they are mostly strengthening the forearm (grips) and bicep. Yes, you may be getting a small amount of shoulder firing but its not a true shoulder or rotator cuff movement. The rotator cuff is does rotation of the shoulder but the primary job is actually to hold the joint into a good position. That is why you want a strong and stable muscles that are not undergoing imbalances.
The force you need to generate to get rotation (and the fact that there are no opposing forces) allows you to overly rotate and shear the rotator cuff, ligaments, and tendons within the shoulder which can then cause injury, damage to it.
If for some reason you are no doing damage to the joint then great… but the truth is you are NOT strengthening it so don’t expect to improve your rotator cuff strength or have muscle gains with this either! No wonder you are likely not getting the results you want or are continuing to have shoulder pain.
Strengthening a muscle requires resistance against a movement. Weight (gravity) goes down, so you go up! Want external rotation, well the weight then needs to be pulling inward. Think about where your forces are before doing the movement and what you need to do to oppose or work against that movement. Knowing this concept can help you avoid other improper movements and help you isolate other muscles. You will be surprised the results you can get when you engage in proper joint mechanics and give the muscle complex the proper resistance.