A Drug-Free Approach to Headache & Neckaches

There’s an increasing tendency to use drugs to address all sorts of health problems: mental or physical. The dramatic growth of the pharmaceutical industry has had a pivotal role in maintaining and intensifying this trend. To some extent, that’s to be expected.

Over-the-counter medication and prescription drugs have proven effective in many conditions. On the other hand, there is a disturbing aspect to this phenomenon. Most of the time, drugs deal with the disease’s symptoms and not its source.

Additionally, most of the mediations impact the body and mind as well as emotional behavior. At times, this might be a good thing. Still, there’s a flip side to that story more often than not. Over time there could be unwelcome impacts alongside the benefits.

The good news is there might be an optimal combination of drug-based and drug-free medication for head and cervical spine aches. Although some OTC drugs immediately help relieve the ache, receiving chiropractic care in Salt Lake City offers a long-term solution.

Most Common Types of Head & Cervical Spine Aches

More than three-quarters of adults have experienced at least one type of headache in their lifetime, and nearly 30 percent of the world population have had one episode of a migraine attack.

Headache generally describes any tension around the head and forehead. However, there are numerous types of headaches, each requiring a different approach and medication procedure. Here are the most common types:

Migraines

As mentioned, migraines are one of the most prevalent types of headaches. It usually feels like an intense throbbing ache. There are a series of warning symptoms in 25 percent of the migraine episodes (called ‘aura’) beforehand.

The ‘aura’ or sensations and symptoms that precede migraines vary depending on the individual. Regularly it’s a combination of dizziness, a ringing in the ears, zigzag lines in the vision, nausea, vomiting, and runny nose. In extreme cases, even seizure has been reported. This stage usually lasts less than an hour.

Migraine headaches sometimes radiate from one side into the cervical spine, shoulders, and upper back. In recent years, the massive body of research has shed more light on understanding the migraine headache mechanism. And although there is still a lot to be learned about it, some of the scientifically proven triggers include

  • Sleep Irregularity: including oversleeping, sleep deficit and sleep disruption. Having a good night’s sleep (between 6-8 hours) significantly reduces the chance of a migraine attack.
  • Emotional Distress: stress, anxiety, and depression are potent triggers. More than 70 percent of the reported cases were linked to an increased stress level.
  • Hormonal Changes in the body (especially for women during pregnancy and during or before the menstrual period) can activate a migraine attack.
  • Diet: is essential. Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, dairy products, and salty foods are among a long list of prohibited foods for people at risk of intense headaches.

Even though there aren’t any antidotes available for migraines, there’s been significant development in addressing the symptoms. Most chiropractic centers in Salt Lake City now perform upper cervical corrections to reduce stress and improve body function.

Tension-Type Headaches (TTH) & Cervix Tension

TTHs are very common. Research stipulates that more than three-quarters of the world population has experienced at least one tension-type headache in their lifetime. TTHs are often mildly to moderately painful, with a dull and sharp sense of tightness, or pressure around the forehead, back of the head, and cervical spine.

Too many hours hunched over a computer or smartphone often triggers muscle strains. Sleeping in an awkward position has the same effect. Therefore, unlike popular belief, sleep doesn’t permanently relieve tension. Sometimes it can be the source of discomfort.

In most cases, the tension doesn’t last very long. Still, in some instances known as ‘chronic tension-type headaches,’ there’s a repetitive and prolonged pattern of occurrence. The tension usually radiates around the upper cervical vertebrae, putting pressure on different body parts. The primary causes of tension-type headaches (TTH) and cervical spine stiffness include

  • Stress & Anxiety: migraine, emotional distress, and sleep irregularity take up the most significant share of the TTH causes.
  • A Sedentary LifeStyle: this is closely associated with poor posture and lack of exercise. These two can create imbalances in the upper cervical vertebrae and pressure the nerve roots.
  • Infection: during a cold or the flu has been linked to acute headaches and tightness in the cervix area.

Restful sleep and light medication generally relieve all tension. In case of sharper and prolonged tensions in the cervical spine area, it’s a great idea to visit a chiropractor for neck pain in Salt Lake City. This would help to loosen up the cervical vertebrae joints and get rid of spasms, pinched nerves, and so on.

Muscle Spasms & Pinched Nerves

Muscle spasms induce a substantial majority of headaches and neckaches. The technical description of muscle spasms is involuntary muscle contractions. Muscle spasms commonly accompany pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy. There is sometimes an underlying disease for contractions. Nonetheless, most of the time, the reason is simple.

Nerve roots generally start from the upper cervical vertebrae. When they’re damaged, there could be a long recovery process ahead. Still, most spinal chiropractors in Salt Lake City are experts in corrections that improve neurological damages.

Since the nervous system spreads a net of attention throughout the body, its impact is always felt in a broad range of body parts. The cervical spine can irritate a nerve root or the spinal cord. This neurological effect leads to long-term aches in the head and cervical spine area. Triggers include

  • Neurological Damage: when a nerve is irritated or compressed beyond a certain level, it causes nerve injury.
  • Muscular Damage: with the right amount of exercise, muscles can be powerful and flexible. Without it, there is a range of disorders coming along, including muscle overextension, weakness, and fatigue.
  • Lack of Magnesium or Potassium: magnesium deficiency sometimes appears as twitches, tremors, and muscle cramps. On the other hand, potassium helps relay signals from the brain that stimulate contractions. When potassium decreases in the blood, it leads to the same condition.

Most of the time, muscle spasms and pinched nerves can be dealt with similarly to other types of headaches and neckaches. Nonetheless, in case of advanced and repetitive patterns of occurrence, it’s always advised to visit a specialist for further examination.