Anyone who has suffered from persistent headaches will tell you how frustrating and tiring they can be…And it seems like headaches are surprisingly common with the World Health Organisation predicting that approximately 47% of the adult population experiencing a headache at least once a year.
Headaches can be caused from a number of different problems but the headaches that I will commonly come across in my chiropractic practice are cervicogenic headaches, or simply headaches that originate from neck pain and dysfunction. These headaches are caused by activities or trauma that place abnormal force on the joints, muscles and ligaments of the neck. Trauma, poor posture and long days at work in front of a computer screen can cause these sorts of headaches. People usually notice that they will experience neck pain before the onset of the headache or they may feel like pain is referring from a point in the neck into the base of the skull, head or temple region. If you suffer from symptoms like this then your headaches may well be coming from some issues in your neck.
What can you do?
If you do experience neck pain and headaches or pain referring form the neck then I would first check your posture. Is your spine neutral when you are sitting or are you shoulders slumped? Are you doing a particular activity that seems to be triggering the headache? If this is the case I would address the following ergonomic issues first.
- Make sure your computer screen is at eye level
- Keep your spine in a neutral position when sitting or working to avoid creating an unnatural thoracic and cervical spine curve
How can chiropractic help?
If your headaches still persist with these ergonomic changes then I would consider getting some good musculoskeletal treatment to assess the cause of the neck pain and headaches. As a Chiropractor I see people with headaches on a regular basis. Chiropractic adjustments can be used to remove joint fixations and muscle restriction associated with the cause of headaches. Getting adjusted may help create long term changes to the structure and function of the spine and neck. This is a natural way to help the spine to function better and reduced or resolved the symptoms for headache sufferers. So if you or anyone you knows is suffering from headaches then maybe its time to try chiropractic as holistic way to manage your headache symptoms.