As many as 45 million Americans suffer often on a daily basis from headaches. Unfortunately many turn to pain killers and NSAIDs for relief. The consequences of this approach can be devastating. Aside from the chemical dependency these drugs can bring the health effects can be disastrous. Liver and kidney toxicity are common side effects. Long term effects of NSAID's can lead to premature arthritis from destruction of joint cartilage. The worst of these side effects is death. As many as 16.000 people die every year from these drugs!
While there are numerous types and causes to headaches such as vascular, tension, migraine there seems to be several common characteristics to most. The cervical spine has been shown to be a very common source of headaches as 3 nerves C1, C2, and C3 all run from the neck through muscles up to the scalp. These nerves are often "entrapped" by overly tight muscles in the neck area. This puts pressure on the sensitive nerves causing pain and headache. Muscles become tight either from over activity such as poor posture, stress, and as result of lack of mobility in the joints of the cervical spine. Also, if there is loss in the normal curvature of the neck from trauma such as whiplash injury the muscles have to work over time to support the head which is primarily the role of the normal curvature of the cervical spine.
A protocol approach of mobilizing the joints of the spine by either manual chiropractic adjustment or by using a high tech instrument adjusting tool such as the Impulse adjustment tool. In addition the tight soft tissues are worked by using ART, Active Release Technique and or Graston Technique. I find cervical traction or decompression is invaluable in resolving headache symptoms. We also want to make sure basic nutritional issues are covered such as proper hydration which is critical. Omega 3 intake is important as inflammation is often a key component in any pain pattern. This protocol approach has a 96% success rate in managing even difficult chronic headaches.