Headaches are multifactorial, meaning there are many causes. Chiropractic can help with headaches that are caused from any biomechanical or neurological interference in the neck or skull. This is termed a cervicogenic headache. This can include migraines as well, and there is research that shows a strong correlation between some types of migraines and the neck. Other causes of headaches may be dehydration, alcohol, fumes, brain tumors, infections and sinuses. Also some migraines may have triggers such as foods like chocolate, wine or orange juice.
Often headaches are related to the posture of the neck. Headaches are often interlinked with neck pain as well. Tension headaches are one example where incorrect neck posture can be the cause. Incorrect posture in the neck interferes with the correct biomechanics of the neck and consequently the nervous system becomes irritated. This can lead to neck pain and also referral of symptoms to the head resulting in a headache. It is important to note that taking medication for headaches is not fixing the problem. The taking of medication is only masking the problem by removing the symptoms, but the underlying cause of the problem, often found in the neck is still present. The longer this underlying cause stays, the harder it is to fix and the higher the chances of permanent damage.
Chiropractic can often provide immediate relief for headaches. This however is still only treating the symptom, although without the side effects of drugs. To truly address the cause of the headaches, it is important to correct the cause of the symptoms in the first place and correct the posture in the neck. If a thorough examination reveals reduced range of motion, loss of normal spinal curves or mechanical restrictions then chiropractic should be considered.