Nobody wants to make it through another day with a nagging headache.

You have kids that need your help, you have work projects to complete, and you need to be able to relax and recover so that you can do it all over again tomorrow. And that headache is making all of that seem early impossible.

By the end of this, you will understand the three most common types of headaches and how E3 Chiropractic + Wellness can help get rid of your headaches!  

The Three Most Common Types of Headaches

  1. Tension-Type    
  2. Migraine     
  3. Cervicogenic

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches are estimated to account for about 20% of headaches. There, however, is a significant carry-over between a cervicogenic headache and a tension-type headache!

If you are experiencing a dull pain that originates at the base of your skull that travels along the side of your head to your forehead, it is likely a cervicogenic headache. This type of headache can cause pain directly behind the eye and typically only occurs on one side of your head. With a cervicogenic headache, you likely are not experiencing any nausea or vomiting.

Irritation of the nerves at the top of your neck, precisely the C2 level, can cause cervicogenic headaches.  

 

The muscles around the area can become tight, putting pressure on these nerves, resulting in a headache. If the joints around the upper portions of your neck become stiff, this can result in inflammation that may also irritate these nerves.  

How E3 Chiropractic Can Help with Your Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic headaches respond VERY WELL to chiropractic adjustments. Adjusting does an incredible job of relieving the stiffness in the joints along the top of your neck.

The muscles along the top of your neck are commonly tight because they compensate for weak muscles elsewhere throughout the spine. E3 C+W has an incredible treatment plan that addresses the root cause of these headaches, including strengthening the muscles along your neck. This helps make your body stronger and more resilient so that headaches do not continue to come back in the future.  

Tension-Type Headaches

Tension-type headaches are statistically the most common type of headache! Up to 74% of people will experience a tension-type headache in one year.

These headaches typically have a dull, aching sensation that wraps around both sides of your head. Any activity won’t aggravate this headache, and you should not notice any nausea or vomiting. You may notice yourself being sensitive to lights or sounds, but NOT both.

There is a significant overlap between a cervicogenic headache, and frequently, patients have both!

 

This is because, as the name suggests, muscle tension is the primary cause of tension-type headaches. Muscle tension can be caused by lack of sleep, emotional stress, poor workplace ergonomics, or muscle tension that compensates for other muscles being weak.

This muscle tension can result in headaches in two ways.

  1. Nerve Entrapment   
    1. Similar to cervicogenic headaches, it will result in irritation of the nerves exiting your neck, which will cause a headache.
  2. Referred Pain
    1. Muscles have repeatable patterns of what is called referred pain. When the muscle becomes irritated, it can result in pain in the muscle and elsewhere. Many of the muscles surrounding your neck can cause referred pain to the head region if irritated.

 

 

 

How E3 Chiropractic Can Help with Your Tension-Type Headache

Tension-Type headaches respond VERY WELL to chiropractic treatment.  

Your Chiropractor at E3 Chiropractic + Wellness can perform specific techniques first to relax any tight muscles that may be causing headaches. The treatment plan will then begin to strengthen the weak muscles surrounding your neck, to reduce your risk of headaches in the future!  

Migraines

There are two types of migraines:

  1. Classical Migraine
    1. Classical migraines have an associated “aura.” For some, this can be flashing lights or waving lines in your vision. For others, an aura can include a specific smell! This will occur before the headache begins.
  2. Common Migraine
    1. Common migraines do NOT have an aura. 

If you are experiencing migraines, it begins with a “prodrome.” During the prodrome, you may encounter nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. If you experience an aura, it will typically occur after the prodrome.

Following the prodrome, the headache of the migraine will begin. The headache is typically on one side of your head and feels like it throbs. It may be so severe that you are unable to move. You will likely be sensitive to both light and sound, and you may vomit.

The primary cause of a migraine is what differentiates migraines from cervicogenic or tension-type headaches.  Changes in blood flow primarily cause migraines.  

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Migraines?

Whether Chiropractic care can help with migraines is a difficult question to answer.

Migraines are unique, and they often have many potential triggers. These triggers can include certain foods, smells, or stress. Cervicogenic headaches are often triggers of future migraines.

Chiropractic care may not be able to affect the migraine directly. However, chiropractic care can aid in addressing potential triggers and reduce your risk of experiencing a migraine.  

Now What?

If you are experiencing headaches, getting the proper treatment for the type of headache you are experiencing is critical! At E3 Chiropractic + Wellness, we have a thorough understanding of headaches and their potential causes, and we are here to help anyone in Saskatoon experiencing headaches! We will perform a thorough examination to determine the root cause of your pain and give you the tools you need to get free from pain so that you can return to your favourite activities pain-free. Click HERE to book an appointment today!

Dr. Kurtis Gryba

Dr. Kurtis Gryba

Chiropractor

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