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Headaches – we all get them from time to time, but when they become recurrent or chronic, they can be painful and hard to treat. Over-the-counter pain relievers may provide some relief, but often they stop working or only take the edge off. Doctors may not have much advice if they can’t find a more serious cause of your headaches – they often suggest over-the-counter remedies that patients have already tried. Or they might give you vague advice about avoiding stress – as if anyone goes looking for it – without any specific suggestions on how to do that. For this reason, patients regularly deal with headache pain on their own, sometimes for years.

An Effective Treatment for Headache Pain

Did you know that chiropractic and wellness clinics provide very effective alternative treatment options for headaches? It’s true – chiropractic adjustments and other wellness services frequently offer relief for headaches. Many patients have told us that they struggled with headaches for months or years, switching between over-the-counter pills that gave them only minimal relief, only to find their headaches were gone after chiropractic and wellness treatment. The sooner you come in for an evaluation, the sooner we can help relieve your pain.

Different Types of Headaches

Diagnosing headache pain can be difficult as there are multiple possible causes. Our wellness care specialists will ask questions about your headache pain and run tests as needed to determine the root cause of your discomfort so that we can create a customized plan to address it.

Here are some of the most common types of headaches:

  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) headaches. These often produce pain in front of your ears and at the edges of your temple. You may also experience tight muscles in the face or jaw, a “clicking” sound when you move your jaw, changes in the alignment of your teeth or “bite,” and pain in the jaw or face. If you have any history of teeth grinding, TMJ headaches are more likely (although TMJ pain can also lead to grinding, so it may be a vicious cycle).
  • Cluster headaches. These usually cause severe pain or burning on one side of the head, often behind one eye. You may also have redness and nasal congestion on the same side.
  • Migraines. This type of headache is also usually one-sided, can be debilitating, and may last for days. It’s often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and in about one-third of cases, visual “auras” that appear before an attack. There are a number of new prescription medications to treat migraines, but some patients find the side effects intolerable, while others may not receive enough symptom relief.
  • Sinus headaches. Often caused by sinus congestion or allergies, this kind of headache feels like pain or pressure around the brows, cheekbones, and the bridge of your nose. Migraines are sometimes misdiagnosed as sinus headaches, so it’s important to get the right diagnosis. If it is indeed a sinus headache, we can help you by diagnosing and treating the cause of your congestion and allergies.
  • Tension headaches. These usually come with a dull ache around the head or the feeling of a band being squeezed around the head. Some patients also have pain and tightness in the neck and shoulder muscles at the same time.
  • Cervicogenic headaches. These typically start with neck pain that becomes one-sided head pain. They are caused by pain referred from bony structures or soft tissues in the neck. Some people may develop these after a neck injury such as whiplash, or from occupational situations, such as sitting in an uncomfortable position all day.

Almost every kind of headache can be treated by one of Optimum Health Rehab’s chiropractic and wellness services.

Headaches and Stress

As you’ve probably noticed, headaches – especially tension headaches – can be tied to stress. Work, school, home, family, and paying bills – there are so many stressors in daily life. Sometimes there is physical strain as well as emotional stress. For example, we often meet people who have cervicogenic headaches from occupational stressors like sitting at a desk all day or hunching over something they’re working on. This may not sound like a big deal, but it can negatively impact your posture, which in turn causes strain on the neck muscles, leading to headaches.

Fortunately, chiropractic care can help with both physical and mental stressors. Our wellness experts will make spinal adjustments to help with any issues caused by poor posture or extended sitting. We’ll also prescribe exercises to help you improve your posture, and we may be able to recommend a more ergonomic chair or seating arrangement. In some cases, massage therapy may also be helpful in reducing tension.

Additionally, we will address any other possible causes of your headaches, including diet, hormonal imbalances, and lifestyle. Our highly-qualified team will use all diagnostic tests available to ensure we’ve found all the potential stressors, then put together a plan to address them. After that, we’ll inquire about your progress as your treatment continues and make changes based on how you’re feeling.

Addressing Adrenal Stress

The adrenal glands are two small glands located above each kidney. They produce steroid hormones, cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline – stress hormones. These hormones are meant to help your body in taxing situations, but when the levels become imbalanced, they can contribute to chronic stress, irritability, and anxiety.

At Optimum Health Rehab, we conduct adrenal stress testing to learn about how your body is experiencing and handling stress. Using saliva samples, we will check your cortisol levels to better understand your stress response and adaptation, insulin, blood sugar levels, immunity function, and other diagnostic criteria. After interpreting the results, we will make recommendations, which may include diet changes, therapies to reduce stress, help to improve sleep quality, and nutritional supplements to assist in rebalancing your stress hormones naturally. Frequently these treatment options relieve stress and reduce headache symptoms.

Why Visit Optimum Health Rehab for Headache Management?

Optimum Health Rehab offers many therapies to diminish your headache pain, based on the root causes and type of headache you have. Here are a few of the treatment options we may recommend, depending on your diagnosis and triggers:

  • Spinal manipulation. The spinal cord connects to nerves all over the body, including those in the neck and head. In many situations, an adjustment relieves tension and improves blood flow to blocked or compressed areas, preventing referred pain in other parts of the body, such as the head.
  • Massage therapy is also excellent at improving blood flow and reducing stress. Often the feeling of deep relaxation following a session helps provide temporary relief from headache pain, while the longer-lasting effects aid in preventing future headaches.
  • Myofascial release. This type of physical therapy focuses on reducing tightness and stress in the myofascial tissues that surround muscles. Often we’re able to locate “trigger points” in the neck and shoulders that contribute to headaches. We then massage these areas to release pressure.
  • Trigger point injections. Once we’ve identified trigger points with myofascial release therapy, it’s sometimes helpful to inject these points with anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain. For certain patients, this results in very quick and effective pain relief.
  • Diet or nutritional therapy. Our wellness experts can walk you through keeping a food diary or perform food sensitivity testing. Many patients are able to identify specific foods that may trigger headaches, and by eliminating them, reduce the frequency of these episodes. In other circumstances, our team may recommend adding supplements of nutrients you may be low on. Sometimes correcting a deficiency can help with headache pain as well.
  • Other lifestyle recommendations. Some patients benefit from drinking more water or doing low-impact exercises like walking. People who spend a large amount of time sitting in one position may benefit from taking a break at least once an hour to get up and stretch.
  • Proprioceptive stretching. In some cases, we walk the patient through stretching techniques designed to reduce tension. Stretching may also prevent pain signals from traveling through “gates” connected to the spinal cord and reaching the brain.
  • Platelet-rich plasma injections, or PRP. People most often associate PRP treatment with healing ligament or tendon injuries, and these shots are excellent for dealing with soft tissue injuries. However, in some situations, they are also useful for the treatment of certain root causes of headaches that haven’t responded to other treatments. The National Headache Institute notes that for some patients, PRP may result in fewer headache episodes, less severe pain when headaches do occur, reduction in the length of time a headache lasts, and sometimes the complete elimination of headache symptoms.
  • Neurology. Our neurology team can help investigate any nerve issues that may be contributing to your headaches. Sometimes this goes hand-in-hand with spinal manipulation or other treatments that attempt to relieve tension and blockages in areas where nerves connect the spinal cord to other parts of the body.

Will You Need All of These Therapies?

Most patients will not need all of the above therapies, no. However, the majority of people need more than one type of treatment. We are a holistic practice and consider all aspects of a person’s life when developing a treatment plan. This plan is created just for you, as an individual, to help reach your specific treatment goals (like fewer headaches and less serious pain). We continue to refine the plan as we work with you and observe how you’re doing. Sometimes we start with one or two treatments, then add another depending on how the first two work out, and so on.

What Should You Do to Prepare for an Appointment to Address Your Headaches?

To help with the diagnostic process, we recommend bringing any medical records you have so we can review your history. If you take medications, including any supplements (like vitamins, minerals, or herbal supplements), please either bring them with you or write a list. This will help us to see what you’re already doing and what, if anything, might be missing.

Is It Expensive to Treat Your Headaches?

Like it or not, this is a question many people have to ask before seeking any kind of healthcare. The answer depends on what treatments you receive as well as the kind of insurance you have, and if anyone else might be responsible for your headaches and need for treatment. For example, if your headaches stem from a whiplash injury you received in a car accident, you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the other driver and/or their insurance company. If successful, this could allow you to get your treatment covered by the other party’s insurance carrier.

If you have questions about paying for your treatment, please give our office a call and our administrative staff will take your insurance information and help you calculate the cost of your first visit. We’re always happy to answer questions about insurance and the availability of coverage for your situation. If you believe your head pain is connected to a car accident or other personal injury, we can recommend a personal injury lawyer who can give you a free consultation about options for seeking compensation.

Visit One of Our Georgia Clinics for Headache Treatments

Call Optimum Health Rehab for Headache Treatment in Georgia

Tired of being in pain or always feeling like a headache is coming on? If you’re in need of both quick results and a long-term strategy for addressing your headaches, please contact Optimum Health Rehab. We’ll work on providing pain relief now and recommending long-term lifestyle changes that can make your headaches less frequent in the future. As always, we see the whole patient and explore all avenues to help you to feel better. Call us at 877-704-1761 today or complete our form to schedule an appointment.