and Migraine Headaches
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Natural Choice Journal
suffer from tension and migraine headaches. What are my options,
besides taking aspirin or Tylenol?
from Chiropractic Doctor, Dr. Melissa Wicks MacRae, Charlottetown,
of us will suffer from a headache at one time or another. Unfortunately
for some, headaches are a regular occurrence. It has been found
that 80% of headache sufferers find relief with chiropractic treatments!
In fact, your chiropractor may well bring relief from your headaches,
whatever the cause: migraine, tension or cluster headaches.
is your body's way of letting you know that something is out of
kilter. Many headaches are caused by a stiff or painful neck.
This pain and stiffness can originate from improperly moving spinal
joints, tight muscles and irritated nerves. Your chiropractor
uses gentle adjustments and soft tissue techniques to treat the
involved areas and help relieve your headache. Adjustments performed
by a qualified chiropractor are a safe and natural choice. The
chiropractor uses his/her hands or a small "adjusting tool"
to move the spinal bones to restore proper spinal functioning
of the joints, muscles and nerves. It is a highly controlled procedure
that rarely causes discomfort. You may also be instructed in certain
stretches, exercises or postural changes to help reduce the strain
on the muscles and joints of your neck. Each year many Canadians
seek the gentle care of their chiropractor to help them find relief
from their headaches.
Dr. Melissa Wicks MacRae 892-BACK (2225)
from Massage Therapists, Michele Moore, RMT and Laura Dear, RMT,
Tension and migraine headaches have different sources, but for
the sufferer, the result is the same - the experience of pain.
The pain in a tension headache is related to excessive tightness
in the muscles of the head and neck, while migraine pain is due
to changes in the pressure of blood vessels in the head. The massage
therapist has a unique treatment for each type of headache.
pain of the tension headache can be alleviated by hands-on manipulation
of the muscles. Most often, tension headaches can be attributed
to the presence of trigger points - highly sensitive spots in
tights muscles.. When the massage therapist releases the trigger
point, the entire muscle relaxes, and the headache disappears.
of migraines by the massage therapist focuses on the improvement
of full body circulation. Increasing circulation to the body core
serves to decrease blood flow to the head, relieving the headache
pain. Typically, migraine sufferers show symptoms of tension headaches
brought on by the body's response to pain. As a result, patients
with migraines are often treated for tension headaches as well.
or cool hydrotherapy applications or use of essential oils are
among the other modalities used. Management of symptoms may also
include stretching and breathing exercises. Frequency and duration
of treatments is determined by individual needs to achieve optimal
muscle heath and flexibility.
Michele Moore, RMT and Laura Dear, RMT (892-9255)
from Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Matt Target, Summerside, PEI
tension headache is the most common form of headache and the most
commonly diagnosed condition in North America. The cause is usually
attributed to muscle tension resulting in referred pain from the
muscles of the neck, skull, and suboccipital region. The tension
can result from injuries such as whiplash, postural strain or
most commonly stress. As a result of this tension, the muscles
remain in contraction and compress nerves causing pain. The other
primary factor contributing to the pain is nerve irritation caused
by the buildup of metabolic wastes due to decreased circulation,
hormonal imbalances and even digestive disturbances. The most
common way most of us deal with this condition is by using aspirin
and other pain killers, which actually put an extra burden on
our body's detoxification processes and can cause digestive problems.
in treating this condition, our first steps are to reduce and
release tension. To do this, we need to identify the stressors
in our lives and reduce exposure to them. However, this is not
always practical so some great ways to help deal with our stessors
are relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation,
visualization, and affirmations. Massage also provides an excellent
way to physically reduce the tension and increase the circulation
in affected muscles. Acupuncture serves a similar purpose through
the needling of affected muscles and their trigger points. Lastly,
many excellent herbs are effective in reducing stress and tension,
both physically and mentally. Some of these include passion flower,
chamomile, skullcap, and valerian. To help our bodies clear metabolic
wastes, we must eliminate irritating foods. These can include
chocolate, fried foods, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy products
to name a few. Several vitamins such as B vitiamins, vitamin C.
vitamin E, magnesium and calcium are also helpful in decreasing
tension and help with elimination of wastes.
Matt Target B.Sc.,N.D. is Naturopathic Doctor in Summerside
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