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Chiropractic: An Effective Treatment for Tension Headaches

I would bet that most of us have experienced a headache at one point or another. The location and symptoms however can tell you a lot about the source of the headache and most importantly what you can do to fix it. As a Chiropractic Physician I see a lot of headache complaints. Headaches can vary from cluster type (most severe), which cause severe pain usually behind the eye, to migraines, and tension type headaches.

Tension type headaches rank as the most common among adults. in fact, more than half of all adults will develop tension headache’s at some point in their life. These headaches are characterized by a dull aching pain in the back of the head, neck, or forehead. Some patients will report that it feels like someone is squeezing their head.  There is no known familial incidence for tension headaches unlike other types; they are usually a product of lifestyle.

What causes them? Poor posture and stress are two of the many causes. Many note that the headaches will begin during certain activities such as computer work, slowly building as the day progress’s. Due to many of our sedentary lifestyle’s and technology many of us have developed muscle imbalances in our neck, back, and shoulders. These imbalances slowly build overtime leading to conditions such as headaches, tendonitis, and low back pain.

What can you do to fix it? These imbalances are mechanical in nature and require some intervention (earlier the better!). When addressing tension headaches it is important to address both the muscles and the joints. One of the main culprits in the development of tension headaches is that of the suboccipital muscles. These are a tiny group of muscles attaching the skull to the upper cervical spine responsible for movements of the head. When muscle imbalances develop the overactive muscles (such as the suboccipital group) become irritated, and inflamed. This inflammation causes fascial restrictions (think scabs)  on the muscles sheath not allowing for adequate movement and position of the muscle. A combination of specific soft-tissue work, and spinal manipulation is the perfect solution for tension headaches. By freeing the fascia, we may then release the joints allowing us to restore normal biomechanics immediately relieving tension!

If you are experiencing headaches don’t wait, give us a call today: (781) 460-0939


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