John Q. Public has been trained to believe that a headache is a problem in the head and relief comes in a bottle.
While it’s true that pain medications can bring relief for a pounding headache, they rarely get at the actual cause of the problem. You have to also consider the long-term problems that can occur when you take these types of pills for years or even decades. Some long-term complications include stomach bleeding, as well as liver and kidney problems. Plus, there is the problem of not actually correcting anything and instead masking the symptoms.
For many patients, the problem is not one in the head, but may have a spinal cause. Here’s how this works… Normally, the neck is balanced over the shoulders in an upright manner. However, some people develop a forward head posture where the head protrudes out away from the shoulder girdle—it looks like the bad posture your mother told to avoid. This type of posture is often seen in heavy computer and electronic device users. Whiplash injuries can also create this forward head posture by disrupting the natural curve of the neck.
Over time, the muscles at the back of the neck become tight and start to tug and pull at the base of the skull. This can cause head pain. Sometimes it’s a dull ache with a burning type of pain full of tension. In other patients, the headache may be more throbbing and to one side. The important thing is to address the actual cause of the problem. This is where chiropractic care is key. By correcting the forward head posture, the head is more balanced over the shoulders. Many patients will report less tension in their shoulder and upper back muscles which were really working over time.