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Headaches and Migraines are a Prison - These are the Keys to get out.

An image of girl with headacheI will never forget the hopelessness, fatigue and desperation of Linda at her new patient exam. This 30-year-old Mom of 3 kids and pregnant with a fourth was burnt out from trying to survive her life. Debilitating migraines since age 10 had put her in a prison and she was in bed one, two and even three days every 1-2 weeks. She felt dependent and family and friends to help raise her kids. She was in a prison.

Jennifer at age 17 had a concussion and subsequently suffered 3 years of constant daily headaches. She took daily pain killers and up to 400 mgs of gabapentin (Lyrica). This affected so severely that she needed glasses to focus and changed her career choice because it was too difficult for her to focus.

Both of these people were at a place where they believed there was no help and their place of suffering was a prison they were stuck in for the rest of their life.

Many People Suffer Additional Challenges

In addition to the pain of the actual migraines and headaches many people suffer additional challenges. Linda and Jenn had trouble driving, had limited daily activities, could not sleep well and have limitations to their education, studying and school work.

Many people will also have drastic effects with their jobs or opportunities for better jobs. Some miss many days each week or have reduced production at work or have to change their schedules to accommodate their poor health.

For many this can lead to depression, expensive drugs and a ripple effect to family, friends and loved ones.

A migraine is an intense or severe headache with additional symptoms like nausea, pain behind one eye or ear, pain in the temples, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light and/or sound, temporary vision loss and vomiting.

Headaches Are Common – But Not Normal

The statistics are staggering. Linda and Jennifer are NOT alone.

15% of Canadians adults suffer from Migraines which will include 1 out of every 4 households. Of these 15% of adults roughly 1/5 will have symptoms a staggering 5 to 9 days each month.

Migraines are the THIRD leading cause of illness in the world and the stats show that 90% of migraine sufferers cannot work or function normally while they have a migraine.

Medications Are Not The Long-Term Solution

While many patients, including Linda and Jennifer, will try to eliminate the pain with medications including heavy narcotics this is never addressing the actual cause of the headache or migraine. In addition to in-effective medications 1/4 to 1/3 of patients with migraine will have a CT or MRI scan. Only 1 case in 11,200 of these will show an abnormality. In these cases, the doctor and client are searching in the wrong direction for the cause.

What is the cause?

80% of headaches are caused by misalignment in the vertebrae in the neck and the subsequent spasm, inflammation and referred pain that occurs. These headaches are called cervicogenic because their origin is from the neck.

These are so much more prevalent in today’s culture because sitting is so much more a part of our everyday routine than 50 years ago.

Chiropractors specialize in the detection and correction of these neck misalignments called subluxations.

A Natural Solution

At Cedar Springs Chiropractic clinic in Ancaster we offer a unique style of chiropractic that takes a detailed analysis of the bones in your neck with digital x-rays. This analysis combined with posture assessment, range of motion testing, palpation and a detailed history allows us to pinpoint the cause of your headache and work to fix the actual cause of the headache for good. This is the MUCH-preferred approach to taking ineffective pain medications or just suffering.

Because posture is the biggest culprit in causing these spinal misalignments here are the biggest tips that will start helping you right away even before you come to see us for your spinal evaluation.

  1. Fix the seat in your car!! Most people angle their seats WAY back and then their head must jut forward. Angle your back rest to no more than 5-10 degrees off of 90 and if your head rest pushes your head forward remove it, turn it around and put it back in. 90% of head rests in your car will allow you to do this.
  2. Get a sit-stand desk at work or home and spend at least 25% of your time standing. These will automatically move your head backwards and help your posture immediately.
  3. Get a cervical pillow and sleep on your side or even better your back with the pillow supporting the natural curve in your neck.

Does chiropractic care work to help headaches? Absolutely!! And this is not just supported by anecdotal evidence of happy patients like Linda and Jenn.

The Duke University Headache Evidence Report published in 1996 showed the following:

  1. Chiropractic showed greater long-term effects for tension-type headache than amitriptyline although not as effective in the short term.
  2. Compared to other soft tissue modalities chiropractic care for tension type headaches is shown to produce sustained improvements in both frequency and intensity of headaches.

Both Linda and Jennifer came in for a chiropractic spinal examination at our clinic. The x-ray results showed that both had spinal misalignments that were causing their headaches and migraines.

Since starting care their headaches and migraines have almost completely gone. Jennifer is off of her Lyrica and Linda has the confidence to know she will not get sick and can take care of her busy family with four kids.

Migraines and headaches are a prison. Chiropractic has the keys to unlock that prison and let you out!!!

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Chronic pain can be a real challenge.  Check out this article from our friends at Family Health Advocacy on the Top 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Heal Your Pain

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