There are over 37 million people in the United States who suffer each year from migraine headaches or some form of debilitating headaches. This is one of the top ten reasons for people to miss work or school on a regular basis. On average, two to three days of school or work are missed each year due to severe or chronic headaches.
Who Gets Severe Headaches?
Severe headaches can strike young and old alike. Seventy-five percent of adolescents suffer from headaches and due to their severity and duration typically being shorter than adult headaches, they often go undiagnosed. Adolescents who suffer these extreme headaches will often have three to four a month and miss numerous school days because of them. Adults, on the other hand, will have about the same amount, but the symptoms are usually more severe and they last longer. Adults usually miss less work due to responsibilities, but it is often reported that they have less productive days when suffering from headaches.
Symptoms of a Headache or Migraine
Anyone who has suffered from a debilitating headache can tell you it is a horrible experience. Symptoms range from pounding and throbbing pain throughout the entire head to slight but chronic pain in just one area. Most people who suffer from migraines have a sensitivity to light that requires darkened rooms to reduce the pain, and they may even deal with nausea and vomiting.
Treatments for Headache Pain
There are numerous prescription medications on the market that can ease or eliminate the pain of a severe headache, but if the root cause of the problem is not resolved, then the headaches will return. Some other treatments are cold compresses, sleep, and anti-inflammatory pain medication like ibuprofen. Over 75 percent of sufferers of severe headaches deal with them with over the counter medications and do not go to see a doctor. Cervical subluxations have been implicated as a major contributing factor for headaches, which indicates that chiropractic care is likely one of the most effective treatments for headaches.
Chiropractic Care as a Relief for Headaches
Various studies have been done on the techniques and results of the correlation between chiropractic care and headache relief. The Pierce Result System was developed as a system of analysis for the correction of vertebral subluxation complex (VSC). Chiropractors found that when the components of VSC were removed, normal spinal structure would be the result, along with the restoration of proper body function and elimination of headache pain. Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP) has also been tested as an option for chiropractic relief of headaches. It is a technique that emphasizes the optimal posture and spinal alignments to help eliminate the pain.
Cessation of Headaches through Chiropractic Procedures
In addition to the techniques listed above, a case study published in 2010 showed a correlation between chiropractic adjustments and a patient performing cervical stretches twice daily on their own, resulting in relief from headaches. The interesting result of this study was that the headaches and neck pain were reported to have subsided after the first week of treatment. These studies have shown that chiropractic treatments and procedures are effective for a large number of people in assisting with the relief of headache pain.
Berner, N., DeMaria, C. “Improvement of Migraines in a Child Following Cervical Curve Correction Using the Pierce Results System.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, 2013 June: 47-53.
Kelly, D.D., Hold, K. “Resolution of Vertigo, Migraines and Neck Pain in a 12 Year Old Boy Receiving Chiropractic Care – A Case Study.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, 2010 Sept: 150-153.
Oakley, P.A., Chaney, S.J., Chaney, T.A., Maddox, A. “Resolution of Chronic Headaches Following Reduction of Vertebral Subluxation in an 8-Year-Old Utilizing Chiropractic Biophysics Technique.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, 2011 Aug: 82-86.