Headaches Conditions Treatment Chiropractor Philadelphia PA

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. At PA Pain and Rehab, we see patients daily who suffer from headaches after a car accident, slip and fall, or even after a work-related injury.

Some patients report occasional headaches, some frequent, some experience dull and throbbing pain, and some debilitating pain and nausea. No matter what is causing you pain, it is crucial to find the root cause. For many of our headache patients, the source of their pain isn’t always their head; it can actually be coming from the neck. Headaches can be triggered by the muscles, joints, or even discs in your neck. It’s important to differentiate which type of headache you have so you can be properly treated. If your headache originates from a structural problem, no medication will fix the cause of the headache. At PA Pain and Rehab, we specialize in many techniques that will address whichever headache you are suffering from.

How We Treat Headaches in Philadelphia, PA

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

Every new patient encounter in our offices begins with an in-depth consultation. We are very interested not only in the symptoms that brought you into our office but also in how your headaches are impacting your life. The history of your problem and your entire medical history can help us determine if you are a candidate for chiropractic care and how to serve you best. Many of our patients only developed headaches after an injury. We also have patients that suffered from headaches before an injury, and now they are worse. Knowing as much as possible can help us help you.

We also provide a comprehensive evaluation that includes a spinal and soft tissue evaluation and an orthopedic and neurological exam to help determine the cause of your headaches. This helps put together the right treatment plan to help correct your problem so you can have a better quality of life.

Specific Chiropractic Care

According to the American Chiropractic Association, spinal adjustments are an effective headache treatment option for many sufferers. Chiropractic adjustments can improve acute and chronic neck pain, reducing the number of headaches you’ll experience — whether you suffer from migraines, tension headaches, or something else.

Using targeted methodology, we adjust the alignment of your spine to improve spinal function and alleviate stress on the nervous system. This allows your body to function more normally and reduces the risk of stress and tension building until headache pain develops.

Soft Tissue Therapy

The muscles surrounding and supporting your neck and head are a common source of headaches, especially after a whiplash injury or a head trauma like a concussion. Many patients who sustain these injuries develop muscle tightness, trigger point tension, and soreness throughout the upper back and neck. Many muscles in your neck and upper back can refer pain into the head and face. In addition to spinal adjustments to correct alignment and improve mobility in the neck, our doctors also use manual techniques such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy to help relieve muscle tension that can contribute to your headaches. We also employ motorized massage tools to help as well

Customized Therapeutic Exercise Program

Most of the headaches we see originate in the neck often due to an injury such as a car or work-related accident. However, most of the patients we see with headaches and neck pain suffer from a muscle imbalance leading to poor posture.

The most common form of poor posture is Forward Head Posture (FHP). It’s easy to see this when looking at someone’s posture from the side. A tell-tale sign of FHP is the patient’s ears line up in front of their shoulders instead of directly over them. This is also commonly known as Upper Crossed Syndrome. Muscles in the back of the neck and the top of the shoulders will are strained and overactive while the muscles in the front of the neck and chest are tight and shortened.

At PA Pain & Rehab, our doctors will create a customized therapeutic exercise program to correct these postural imbalances and restore balance and stability to the neck. In addition, they will improve mobility and reduce stiffness which will only complement the adjustment and get you feeling better as soon as possible. We take a progressive approach, slowly increasing the difficulty and duration of the exercises to target and rehabilitate injured tissues so you can live pain-free with a full range of motion. Because each exercise is tailored to your stage of healing and adapted as you progress, you can make fast improvements, giving you control of your journey toward physical healing and restoration.

Common Types of Headaches

Tension Headache

Tension headaches are caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck. Some people experience tension headaches occasionally, but they become a chronic problem for others. Women are twice as likely as men to experience tension headaches.

You may have a tension headache if the pain is mild to moderate and occurs behind your eyes and in your neck. Some people may also feel it in their shoulders. As the name suggests, emotional stress and physical tension can cause tension headaches. Bad posture, especially a hunched posture while sitting, is a common factor in tension headaches. Other triggers of tension headaches include:

  • Alcohol intake
  • Eyestrain
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration

Migraines

Migraines can also occur sporadically or chronically. Migraines have symptoms known as “aura” that distinguish them from other headaches. Aura occurs before the pain of a migraine sets in and can include vision changes, a tingling feeling on one side of the face or body, and difficulty speaking. The aura symptoms are followed by a throbbing headache that usually occurs on one side of the head. The migraine pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can last anywhere from four hours to three days.

All the causes of migraines are not understood, but genetic and environmental factors may play a role. Interactions between the brainstem and the trigeminal nerve appear to be a factor. There are many possible triggers for migraines, and individuals who are prone to them should try to avoid their triggers as much as possible. Migraine triggers range from hormonal changes to sensory stimuli such as bright light and strong smells. Some people may experience migraines after drinking wine, eating processed or salty foods, or after intense physical activity.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are a particularly brutal type of headache that affects about 1% of the population, mostly men. Cluster headache sufferers describe the pain as feeling like a red hot poker jammed into their eye. Usually, just one eye is affected, and the pain can come and go for hours or days. The pain may extend to other parts of the face, head, or neck. Sometimes the affected eye will show other symptoms like drooping, redness, or tearing. No one knows what causes cluster headaches, but for many sufferers, they appear at the same time of year.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus-related headaches cause pain in the forehead and sometimes along the cheekbones. To determine if your headache is sinus related, lean forward with your face parallel to the floor. If your pain is worse, you most likely have a sinus headache. Sinus headaches can be caused by anything that creates inflammation or mucus buildup in your sinuses. Respiratory viruses, sinus infections, and allergies are common culprits.

Concussion and Whiplash Injuries

These two injuries often occur together during an accident. Both can cause chronic headaches if not treated promptly. See your doctor if you have been in an accident and have signs of a concussion, such as nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, or a throbbing headache. Pain from a whiplash injury may not show up until days or weeks after the injury occurred. Pain from concussions can also continue after the damage has healed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What treatment options do headache chiropractors use?

Common chiropractic treatments include spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy, electrical stimulation therapy, and therapeutic exercise. Llifestyle changes may help prevent headaches in the first place. Lifestyle changes often include making better nutritional choices and performing certain stretches and exercises.

Why do spinal adjustments help with headaches?

Spinal adjustments help release any tension built up in the spine, which not only helps relieve headache pain but also helps prevent someone from getting headaches in the future. When it comes to how many adjustments someone will need, it depends on their particular situation. Each patient should undergo a consultation appointment with one of our doctors for personalized information on a treatment plan.

Do the chiropractors at PA Pain and Rehab treat all kinds of headaches?

There are many different types of headaches someone can experience. Some headaches will cause throbbing and discomfort, while others will cause so much pain that the person may not be able to function. Some of the more common types of headaches that a headache chiropractor can treat include tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraine headaches.

When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?

As soon as possible. A headache is a sign that something in your body is not functioning correctly. It is essential to be evaluated promptly, so your condition does not worsen. Starting care right away can help you feel better and get back to doing what you like and need to do in your life.