Archive for June, 2010

National Headache Awareness Week

Headaches are one of the most common health complaints after all, almost everybody has had headaches at times in their lives. More than 45 million Americans (about 1 in 6) suffer chronic headaches each year. Twenty-eight million Americans 13 percent of the population suffer from migraines, headaches characterized by throbbing head pain often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. What you might not know is that your doctor of chiropractic could help you make that pain go away.
According to the National Headache Foundation (NHF), time lost from work and resulting medical expenses due to headaches are estimated to cost American businesses approximately $50 billion per year. Migraine sufferers alone account for more than 157 million workdays lost. In an effort to educate the public about the impact and severity of headache, the NHF has declared June 6-12, 2010, National Headache Awareness Week.
Noting that Americans spend more than $4 billion every year on over-the-counter pain relief for headaches, Dr. Jeff McQuaite, a doctor of chiropractic from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, wants to inform headache sufferers that there is an alternative to popping a pill and hoping the pain goes away.
“There’s a conception that chiropractic is just for a bad back. Nothing could be further from the truth,” “I have treated many patients suffering from headache pain with great success. Numerous scientific studies also show chiropractic care to be an extremely effective, drug-free way to relieve the pain from chronic headaches.”
One of these studies, the “Duke [University] Headache Evidence Report,” found that chiropractic was shown to produce “markedly superior results” over amitriptyline (one of the most commonly prescribed medications for headaches) in the treatment of tension-type headaches. The study also noted that chiropractic produced “sustained improvement in headache frequency and severity” in the treatment of cervicogenic headache (headaches where the primary contributing structural source of the headache is the cervical spine).
Ninety-five percent of all headaches are “primary” headaches, such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. The vast majority of these types of headaches are caused by muscle tension in the neck. Studies show that doctors of chiropractic are extremely effective at treating this type of headache.
“Americans are becoming less and less active, spending more and more time in one fixed position or posture, such as at a desk in front of a computer,” “This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck and upper back, causing the head to ache. Spinal manipulation improves spinal function, alleviating stress on the neuromusculoskeletal system and, in the process, greatly reducing or possibly even eliminating headache pain.”
How Can Headaches Be Prevented?
Muscle-tension headaches can often be avoided by maintaining proper posture and neck movements while performing your normal activities. Dr.McQuaite and the American Chiropractic Association recommend the following:
Avoid slouching
Avoid reading with your neck bent forward
Keep your computer monitor at eye level
Take frequent breaks from reading and working on the computer
Try a low-fat, high complex carbohydrate diet. A recent study demonstrated that such a diet can dramatically lower the frequency, intensity, and duration of migraine headaches.
Avoid the following food “triggers:”
o Caffeine. Foods such as chocolate, coffee, sodas, and cocoa contain high levels of the stimulant.
o High salt or sugar content. These foods may cause migraines, resulting to sensitivity to light, noise, or abrupt movements.
o Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you and cause headache pain.
o High-protein foods, dairy products, red meat, and salty foods can all contribute to headache pain.
Low-impact exercise may help relieve the pain associated with primary headaches. However, avoid heavy exercise if you are prone to dull, throbbing headaches. Engage in walking and low-impact aerobics instead.
Avoid clenching your teeth.
What Are the Signs of a Serious Headache?
You should call your doctor and/or seek emergency care if:
You have a stiff neck and a fever along with your headache
It is painful to bend your head to your chest
Your speech is slurred
You have vision changes
You feel numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
Your headache lasts longer than three days
You recently injured your head and your headache will not go away
You often get headaches in the morning
You have a sudden headache, even though you normally don’t have them
Other signs of serious headache include:
The worst headache you’ve ever had
Worsening or more frequent headaches
Headache that wakes you from sleep
Personality changes along with headache
Early morning vomiting without headache
For more information on chiropractic treatment of headaches, contact Azzatori Chiropractic 267-247-7000