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  • Dr Gi Ming Chan

Integrative Care for Headaches and Migraines:

How Chiropractic and Naturopathic Medicine Can Work Together to Decrease Headaches


Headaches are an extremely common disorder, with about 15% of the American population suffering from it. It is found more commonly in women.


Some of the most common types of headaches are tension, migraine and cervicogenic.

Cervicogenic headaches are secondary headaches with symptoms such as pain and stiffness of the neck, pain on one side of the face or head, reduced range or motion in the neck, pain in the shoulder, or arm. The pain may be triggered by certain neck movements or positions. It may be caused by fractures, infections, arthritis of the upper spine, whiplash or another injury to the neck.


Headaches can also be caused by many reasons such as dehydration, stress, bad posture, inadequate sleep, low blood sugar or blood sugar crash, food allergies and environmental sensitivities.


Spinal manipulation therapy has become one of the most popular treatments for headaches including migraines. Chiropractic care can increase blood flow to the head, as well as help decrease muscle tension. There is moderate evidence that spinal manipulation therapy has short-term efficacy similar to the anti-depressant, amitriptyline, in the preventive treatment of chronic tension-type headache and migraine. In addition, there is moderate evidence that spinal manipulation is more effective than massage for cervicogenic headache.


Chiropractic care can be quite helpful when misalignment of the spine creates muscle tension in the neck. In addition, they can provide postural and muscle exercises to correct the causes.


Naturopathic Medicine can help headaches by addressing underlying causes such as nutritional deficiencies or environmental triggers. Tension and migraine headaches are often triggered by food allergies. Tension headache sufferers can have an underlying magnesium insufficiency, however, the mineral can help with both tension headaches and migraines.


Multidisciplinary headache treatment is highly effective for patients with chronic headaches. Naturopathic and chiropractic care can both address stress management, one of the most essential parts of treatment for most headaches, in addition to improve symptoms and find underlying causes.


Dr. Horne can help address structural problems that may be causing your headache, while Dr.Chan can help to identify any nutritional insufficiencies, food allergies or environmental or emotional triggers.


References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11562654

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324108#treatment

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