You wake up certain mornings and feel like you have a rubber band wrapped tightly around your head. This is the classic sign you have a tension-type headache…and that’s going to affect your day. Rather than accepting headaches as something you can’t control, consider making an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors can provide conservative, non-pharmaceutical treatments that can bring relief.
Life-affecting Headaches: You’re Not Alone
About 30 to 80% of the adult population in the United States suffers from occasional tension-type headaches. Chronic, daily tension-type headaches affect approximately 3% of the population. Women are twice as likely to suffer from them as men. Tension headaches usually begin slowly and gradually and can last for minutes or days. Tension headaches often come from stress or bad posture, which results in pressure on the spine and muscles in the upper back and neck.
Two Types of Tension Headaches
There are two types of tension headaches. One is called episodic; the other is chronic. An episodic tension headache typically occurs more than one day a month and less than 15 days a month. A chronic tension headache occurs 15 days or more per month.
Treatment Options from Your Doctor of Chiropractic
One option may include chiropractic adjustments. Research has shown specific manual adjustments by a doctor of chiropractic are effective for treating tension headaches, especially headaches that seem to originate in the neck.
A report by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, N.C., found that “spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than commonly prescribed medications.”
These findings support a Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics report that found spinal manipulative therapy to be effective for treating tension headaches. In contrast to patients who received pain medication, this study also found those who had four weeks of chiropractic treatment continued to experience a sustained benefit after chiropractic care ended.
Other Chiropractic Care Options
As specialists in musculoskeletal pain and conditions, chiropractors are trained in the delivery of manual manipulation of the spine and extremities and provide exercise plans and manual therapies that are recommended for the treatment of tension headaches.
For episodic tension headaches, the primary recommended treatments are clinical and home-based interventions, such as exercises for the neck and mid-back. For chronic tension headaches, treatments to discuss with your chiropractor may include
Your Doctor of Chiropractic is Your Partner in Better Health
Chiropractic care, when indicated, is individualized for each patient, and specific recommendations are made only after a comprehensive physical assessment. The effects of tension headaches on job productivity and overall quality of life are considerable, particularly if they’re chronic.
In addition to seeing a doctor of chiropractic, there are things you can do to help prevent tension headaches:
The effects of tension headaches on job productivity and overall quality of life are considerable, particularly if they’re chronic. In addition to seeing a doctor of chiropractic, there are things you can do to help prevent tension headaches:
CUKC Chiropractic Health Center
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.