When it comes to headaches, there are many underlying causes that could lead to that annoying ache or throbbing pain in your head. Sometimes, your headache comes on due to lack of sleep or caffeine withdrawal; sometimes changes in the weather trigger pain over your eyes. With over 150 types of headaches, you might experience pain at the back of your neck, across your forehead, or on just one side of your head.
Whatever the case may be, if you suffer from frequent headaches, it may be a sign of an underlying health condition. Here at Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, with nine locations throughout Delaware, James Sheehan, DC, and the skilled chiropractic team specialize in identifying and treating the root cause of your headaches so you can get long-term relief from debilitating pain. In this blog, we highlight five of the most common causes of headaches.
1. Problems with the muscles or nerves in your head and neck
Primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses rather than a symptom of an underlying condition. Primary headaches — tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches — are the result of problems with the structures in your head and neck.
Migraine headaches occur when nerve endings in your brain signal pain. Tension headaches are the result of tight, strained neck muscles. Gentle chiropractic adjustments may help alleviate neck tension and help bring relief from pain.
2. Head injuries: Whiplash and concussions
Known as post-traumatic headaches, this type of headache is the result of a head injury. Car accidents commonly lead to whiplash injuries — a sudden jerking of your neck backward and forward. You may not develop symptoms until several hours or even days after an accident, but untreated whiplash can lead to chronic headaches that start at the base of your skull.
Sports-related injuries that cause concussions can also cause long-term headache pain if not treated effectively. Therapeutic exercises, chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy as part of your comprehensive rehabilitation program may help you recover from whiplash or a sports or work injury.
3. Overuse of pain medications
Rebound headaches are the result of medication overuse. If you frequently take over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve headache pain, you might actually be contributing to the problem. Chiropractic care is a natural approach to pain relief so you don’t have to depend on drugs to reduce headaches and migraines.
4. Hormone fluctuations
Women tend to experience hormone headaches more so than men. During menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, estrogen and other hormones sometimes abruptly fluctuate and this can cause headaches and migraines. Migraines are often triggered by diet and lifestyle, so there are steps you can take to help prevent the onset of this type of headache.
5. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
If you frequently wake up with a headache, it could be temporomandibular joint disorder — a problem related to your jaw. Grinding or clenching your teeth at night as a result of stress may cause tension in your jaw and contribute to TMJ morning headaches. Our chiropractic team can help alleviate any type of musculoskeletal pain, including TMJ.
Once we identify the underlying causes of your headaches — there’s often more than one — we develop a natural treatment plan that delivers long-term results without the use of medications with unpleasant side effects.
Dr. Sheehan and the Pro Rehab Chiropractic and Rehabilitation team take a multidisciplinary approach to identifying and treating the problems contributing to your headaches and migraines. Your treatment may include chiropractic adjustments, massage, physical therapy, and other methods that work together to provide a long-term solution to chronic or acute pain.
If you suffer from frequent headaches and you’re tired of taking pain medications, we can help. Additionally, if you’re injured and need treatment, simply call one of our convenient office locations in Wilmington, Newark, Lewes, Camden, and Middletown, Delaware. You can also schedule a consultation online.