That’s a huge question and I get asked questions all the time about headaches and it is a very popular thing that people come to chiropractors for. I like to teach people that preventing the headaches from ever starting is really the best way to deal with relieving headaches. Once they have a headache, it’s a little more difficult to deal with. But preventing them is huge. So we teach people certain stress management – decreasing their physiological and psychological stress levels, working on correct posture. When people have postural deviations, when their head starts to come forward from spending hours and hours at computers, that can change the alignment of the upper neck bones. And when they are out of alignment, they can irritate some of the nerves in that area and that can cause headaches- especially the ones in the top two vertebrae. So those are the ways that we look to teach people. By correcting posture, correcting the alignment of the spine, you can minimize headaches from ever starting.
When someone already has headaches – they are a migraine sufferer, things of that nature – there are specific upper cervical techniques which work on realigning the vertebrae to not only get pressure off the nerves but to enhance blood flow. Blood flow to the brain if restricted is a very powerful cause of migraine type headaches. Those migraine headaches are very vascular. People who get them will know what I’m talking about – when you feel that pounding with every beat of your heart and obviously your nerve system controls the amount of blood, the amount of vasodilation, how open the blood vessels or how closed they are. People under stress have a lot more tension, those things will tighten up and we can get stress and tension headaches.
So what I always like to do is get people checked. I don’t care if you’ve never been checked before by a chiropractor, it’s a good idea to get checked because you can find out if there is a predilectation for headaches by looking at the alignment of the upper neck and back and looking at the posture. We can help people by getting pressure off the nerves that are causing those painful headaches. I would say that probably 90% of the cases that come to our office for headache relief (most of those cases) get significant relief. There’s a couple cases that get through that might not do the best but for the majority of cases, there is a decrease in frequency, severity and the intensity of the headaches.
I’m actually working with a little girl now who has a post concussive syndrome. She got hit with a basketball in her gym class and immediately following that (she) started to get headaches. We’ve been adjusting her and in about three weeks, 90% of her headache symptoms are gone. She has like one dull achy headache every now and then but for the most part the kid is doing great. They wanted to put her on a host of different medications. What I always tell people is try a chiropractor first. There’s no drugs, no surgery. If that doesn’t help, the other options are always there with medications and other types of treatments. Biofeedback, listening to the body and getting a good handle on what the cervical spine alignment is like is the best way to go about managing these headaches naturally without using drugs and surgery.
Dr. Gregg D. Rubinstein, D.C., is a midtown Manhattan chiropractor with over 20 years of experience providing customized chiropractic treatment services to a wide range of clients in the Midtown Manhattan/West New York City area. Dr. Gregg Rubinstein and 57th Street Chiropractic can be reached at (917) 534-6484 and is located at 119 West 57th St. in New York, NY.