Stress can have a dramatic effect on all types of headache pain, including migraines. Stress can cause blood vessels in the brain to constrict reducing blood flow to the brain and cause intense pain and discomfort. As blood flow becomes compromised, the tissues can become inflamed further increasing the discomfort. Massage therapy performed on the head and neck can help to reduce the inflammation and restore proper blood flow. Chiropractic adjustments can also help by gently shifting the bones in the neck to relieve the pressure caused by stress. Combining both treatments can offer twice the benefits in a shorter amount of time.
Migraines can have any number of triggers. Each person will react differently to certain triggers while having no reaction at all to others. Bright lights, strong odors, extreme temperature fluctuations, loud noises, or quick movements can produce intense migraine pain that may last for several hours or several days. Once a person begins to identify their potential triggers, they can attempt to avoid them. If they cannot be avoided, the patient may be able to use preventative measures to help reduce the severity of the attack. Acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments are both effective at helping to maintain balance within the head and neck and eliminate or reduce the effects of migraine and headache pain.
A concussion is the result of blunt force trauma to the head which results in the skull or the brain being damaged in some way. Most blows to the head will be accompanied by headache pain and dizziness, but a concussion may present other symptoms that may be harder to pinpoint unless the person knows what they are looking for. One of the most telling signs of a concussion is the dilation of one pupil. When a light is directed into a person's eyes, both pupils should get smaller at the same time and remain equal in size. If a person receives a concussion, one of their pupils may dilate even if a light is directed towards. The person's vision may also be blurry or they may see multiple images.
Chronic headaches and migraines afflict many Americans. The severity of pain can go from mild and intermittent to episodes of debilitating throbbing, unrelenting agony, as well as nausea. Relief comes from a variety of means, including over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs, rest, and ice/heat packs on the forehead or neck. Sources of headaches include, but are not limited to, certain kinds of foods, sounds and excessive noise or bright lights, changes in blood sugar, and even too much exercise.
Some recent studies have shown that patients suffering from chronic headaches and migraines may benefit more from long-term chiropractic care than drug therapy alone. For headaches that originate in the cervical, or neck, area, chiropractic treatment, such as spinal manipulation, has been shown to be quite effective. A 2001 Duke University study, for example, found that spinal manipulation provided relief for patients with headaches that originate in the neck, and resulted in fewer side effects than medication. Researchers in that study concluded that such treatments as relaxation training, thermal biofeedback combined with relaxation training, electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and to a lesser degree, acupuncture, are all modestly effective in treating migraine headaches.
Close to 15 percent of people who visit a chiropractor do so to seek relief for pain from chronic headaches or migraines, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
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