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la jolla chiropractor

Ep 368 – Does Your Knee Collapse During a Squat?

363 – Common Exercises Giving You Lower Back Pain

Ep 361 – Must Have Exercises for Shoulder Rehab!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 358 – Elevate/Depress Shoulder Mash

Ep 357 – Upper Trap Release (Why I don’t do This One Often)

Ep 355 – Scapular & Shoulder Mobility Drill

Ep. 349 – How To Improve Mobility at The Office?

Ep 344 – How to Roll Out the Low Back without Hurting It!

Ep 343 – Sprained Wrist Treatment (1 day old injury)

Ep 342 – Standing QL Stretch for Low Back Pain

Ep 340 – Beautiful Chiropractic Adjustment of Mid-Back, Low Back, & SI Joint

This video is a quick clip of the Chiropractic adjustment (manipulation) that we do in our office.  The adjustment is designed to help restore normal range of motion, blood flow, and help the nervous system via neuroplasticity.

Chiropractic adjustments to the spine have been shown to improve neural connections not only within the spine but there has been research that shows the increase in firing patterns within the brain.  Think Chiropractic is just good for the spine?  Think again….

The master controller of the body is the brain and spinal cord.  If you can stimulate the brain and cord to improve its firing you can directly and positively influence the body on a global level.  This includes low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain all the way to improvements in digestion, alertness and cognition.

Ep 337 – How To Actually Achieve Your Goal This Year (Goal Breakdown)

Ep 336 – Shoulder Rehab, Posterior Deltoid & Rotator Cuff

Ep 335 – How To Use The Hypervolt

Ep 333 – Plank Slaps

Ep 332 – Do Your Genetics Really Control Everything?

Ep 331 – Mash Roll & Move.

MASH Roll and MOVE! 

This technique can be used for most areas of the body.  It is a lot more effective when you add MOVEMENT to your already existing mobility exercises.  Yes, it is more advanced but if you can do it then why not?  First, start by warming up the muscle and foam rolling.  Now, you can do this in any manner that you have in the past but the issue is that most people do not try new things!  So after you do your “normal” stuff, then try to mash and mobilize the muscles by using different directions.  Using different directions and rolling side to side allows you get fibers and areas of the muscle you may have missed.

Okay, so now you are really warmed up. Let’s add movement!  Start by mashing and then taking the joint and muscle through a full range of motion.  Yes, it will be a little harder and possibly more tender but you can most definitely (and I recommend this) lighten up on how hard you mash.  Remember, this is a technique that can be applied to other areas of the body.  Doing this technique can help elongate the fibers, reduce risk of injury, promote healing, blood flow, and reduce scar tissue formation.  All of this can help improve how you move and thus reduce pain!

Knee Gapping Technique to Improve Range of Motion