Did you know that over 4.9 million Australians suffer from migraines? Or that up to seven million suffer from tension headaches?
They're staggering figures and ones costing the economy $35.7 billion each year. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are; you will likely suffer a headache or migraine at some point.
During Spinal Health Week on May 22-28, the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) is raising awareness of headaches' causes and negative effects, with the 2023 theme 'Headaches Holding you Back? Consult a Chiro'.
"Chiropractic care is an effective avenue of treatment for headaches and migraines. Chiropractors use specific and gentle spinal adjustments to correct any imbalances in order to alleviate headaches and migraines in the first place, as well as provide lifestyle advice to help prevent their re-occurrence," the ACA said.
"Chiropractic care is a natural and drug-free way to eliminate headaches fast and from the source. Chiropractors also provide health and wellbeing advice that can help minimise future headaches before they start."
Tension headaches are the most common cause of headaches in the general population. These headaches can cause mild to moderate pain and are often triggered by stress or fatigue. This type of headache can be described as a 'hat band' tightness around the forehead, temples, and back of the head.
Chronic tension-type headaches may result from pressure and fatigue but can also frequently be attributed to physical problems, psychological issues, or depression. Other triggers may include poor posture, eye strain from excessive screen time, dehydration, caffeine dependence or withdrawal, smoking, and bright and/or noisy environments.
"Research has shown that manual therapy such as chiropractic care has been effective in reducing the frequency, intensity and impact of a headache, both at a short-term and long-term follow-up," ACA said.
A cervicogenic (neck-related) headache often presents as pain that starts in the neck and is caused by disorders affecting the top of the spine, regarding either the bony disc or soft tissue elements.
Typically, a cervicogenic headache is usually one-sided, beginning in the neck and then spreading to the region of the eyes, forehead, and temples.
"Most of the time, it is accompanied by uncomfortable neck pain, and as a result, your range of neck motion can be limited - but this is not always the case," ACA said. "As it is believed that cervicogenic headaches are caused by disorders affecting the top of the spine, chiropractic care can be an effective form of treatment."
Migraines often begin as a dull headache, developing into a constant, throbbing, and pulsating pain at the temples and the front or back of the head. They are usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.
Migraines can be a complex and varied disorder with a spectrum of severity, types and symptoms, which your chiropractor can help identify. Don't let pain stop you in your tracks. Consult an ACA-accredited chiropractor. For more information, visit the website chiro.org.au.