Tension Headaches

Tension headache is the most common type of headache by far and the one that a lot of people think of as a ‘normal’, everyday headache. The headache tends to come on later in the day and is usually relieved by rest It usually lasts for 30 minutes to several hours, though can last for several days.

It is felt as a dull constant ache at the back of the head and often behind the eyes, a bit like wearing a tight band around the head. The neck muscles will feel tight, the normal range of movement of the neck may be reduced and the headaches will at times be accompanied by a feeling of nausea.

Most people are likely to have experienced a tension headache at some point. They are more common in women than men and can develop at any age. It is estimated that about half the adults in the UK experience tension headaches once or twice a month, and about 1 in 3 get them up to 15 times a month!

Here is the good news: You do not need to put up with these headaches as chiropractic treatment can be a very effective treatment method at reducing them or even eliminating them all together. And unlike painkillers, chiropractic treats the underlying cause of the pain, not just the pain itself.

The proper name for tension headache is ‘cervicogenic headache’ which literally means headache originating from the cervical area i.e. the neck. The underlying cause of tension headaches is loss of movement of the spinal joints of the neck and upper back and/or tightness in the neck/shoulder muscles. Chiropractic treatment works by freeing up the stiff joints and relax the affected muscles thereby taking away the cause of the headache.

At times the lack of joint movement can cause irritation to the nerves in the neck causing pain where the nerve ends. This is known as ‘referred’ pain and often gives rise to pain felt around the shoulder joint or even down the arm. The pain or pressure so often felt behind the eye during a headache is also referred pain.

The majority of neck problems are brought on by the long-term effect of bad/wrong posture putting excessive strain on the joints and neck musculature. Other causes include manual labour, heavy lifting, car accidents and falls.

Case study:

A 57 year old gentleman came to the clinic recently complaining of lower back pain. During the case history he happened to mention that he had been getting daily tension headaches for 22 years! And was taking 8 paracetamol every day! (That’s 2920 painkillers a year!!)

During the examination stiff joints and very tense muscles were identified in his neck, and it was decided to treat his neck as well as his lower back. After 3 week’s treatment, he was free of these daily headaches! And his lower back was also doing pretty well.

Are You Sitting on the Problem?

Is Sitting on your Wallet or Mobile the Cause of your Back Pain?

As chiropractors we examine, diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders which basically means problems arising from bones, joints, muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons. However we also try to do a little ‘detective work’ to find out what caused the injury as it is much easier to prevent a re-occurrence if we know what caused it in the first place.Continue reading

10 Tips for Back Pain Prevention

1. Regularly exercise. 45min of moderate to fast walking daily (without a bag) is one of the best types of exercise you can do for your back. Also helps to clear your head.
2. Stick to a healthy diet with plenty of fruit/veg. Make your plate colourful.
3. Maintain good posture. Avoid slouching and low soft seats. And keep your feet on the floor
4. Warm up and cool down before and after physical activity.
5. Keep your backpack or shoulder bag as light as possible. Take out what you don’t need.
6. Don’t sit for more than an hour without getting up for a wander around or a stretch.
7. Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder or sit with your head down while on your phone or tablet ( put a couple of cushions on your lap and pop the phone/tablet on top bringing it up to eye level)
8. Sleep on your back or side, avoid sleeping on your stomach.
9. Invest in a good chair that suits your height and a good pillow and mattress. Money well spent.
10. Have regular spinal check-ups to catch issues early ( a bit like dental check ups). If you are in pain for more than 2-3 days, get checked over.

The Elderly and the Benefits of Chiropractic Care

One thing in life is certain – we will all AGE.

Recently we have all heard “60 is the new 50”, “70 is the new 60”, etc. being talked about by the media and this is certainly true as people are taking more care of themselves and adopting lifestyle choices to ensure that they go into retirement and beyond in the best possible shape.Continue reading

Sitting is the New Smoking!

Modern day living seems to involve more and more time spent sitting down. Our commuting to work, desk-jobs, TV watching, web-browsing lifestyles are becoming detrimental to our health. Until recently it was believed that getting your recommended daily dose of physical exercise was enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.Continue reading