Headaches Are A Pain In The Neck
Headaches can stop you dead in your tracks. For some people it manifests as a pounding sensation that beats in sync with your heart and sometimes does not seem to want to go away. Others experience ones that start from the back of the neck into the head and temples or across the forehead. Most of us can identify with one or both of these types.
You Are Not Alone
A headache is one of the most ubiquitous complaints in modern society affecting about 99% of women and 93% of men at some time in their lives. In children, headache prevalence increases from 39% at the age of six, to 70% at the age of fifteen. Headaches are also one of the most common complaints for which people seek treatment from a doctor of chiropractic.
A tension headache is the most common type affecting 69% of men and 88% of women. It feels like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck. They are usually not as severe as migraine headaches and do not usually cause nausea or vomiting.
Migraine headaches affect approximately 8% of men and 25% of women and is diagnosed using certain criteria including one-sided head pain, throbbing pain, and pain that interferes with, is worsened by, or prohibits routine activity. They may have at least one associated feature of nausea and/or vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines may be foreshadowed by aura, such as visual distortions or hand numbness.
Cluster headaches, which affect 0.4% of persons in a 9:1 ratio of men to women, are periodic and occur in groups or cycles. They appear suddenly and are characterized by severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head, accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion or a runny nose on the same side of the face.
A sinus headache occurs when a sinus becomes inflamed, often due to an infection, which can cause pain. It usually comes with a fever and can be diagnosed by symptoms or the presence of pus viewed through a fiber-optic scope.
Cause and Effect
Whiplash injury is a common cause of neck pain and headaches and people who have suffered one eventually develop headaches later on. These injuries usually result in an abnormally straightened neck, as viewed from the side on an X-ray. This may be an underlying mechanical cause of tension or migraine headaches – the most common types of headache.
Correcting or restoring proper cervical spinal alignment, as is done by a chiropractic adjustment, has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective way to reduce the frequency, severity and length of the most common types of headache. Furthermore, if the neck can be restored to its normal alignment and function, headache attacks may even be eliminated altogether. Imagine!
The Gleaner , Monday | November 5, 2012