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Should Your Chiropractor Be Treating Headaches?

Should Your Chiropractor Be Treating Headaches?

A Gonstead chiropractor can treat various conditions, including chronic headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain syndromes.  When treating headaches, a Gonstead chiropractic care provider can pinpoint areas in your spine likely contributing to or causing the problem. They’re a tremendous asset to your headache treatment regimen, especially if you’re looking for safe, natural, and effective remedies. 

The Difference Between Headaches and Migraines

One of the most confusing parts of differentiating between the two is that migraines include headaches as a symptom; however, migraines are different because it’s a condition, not just a symptom.

A condition is a state, whereas a symptom is a sign of an underlying issue. Often, headaches occur with migraines, but they aren’t the migraines themselves.  They can come on because of things like:

•         Sinus infections

•         Congenital disabilities

•         Aneurysms

•         Blunt trauma

Headaches are a byproduct of something deeper and more severe. Migraines are another possible cause of headaches. It’s like the pain you feel when you get a papercut; the cut causes the pain, but it isn’t the cut itself.

At Slovin Chiropractic Center, we offer unique regimens for treating headaches and migraines.  Migraines are a condition and not a disease.  A disease is a pathophysiological response referring to a physical condition that usually results from a structural change; therefore, migraines require a holistic approach through Gonstead methods. 

Does Chiropractic Care Work in Treating Headaches? The Research

There’s not a ton of research that looks at chiropractic treatment for migraines and chronic headaches; however, there are a few notable findings from past and recent studies. 

•         A study analyzing 22 clinical trials with more than 2,600 patients with several types of headaches showed that chiropractic treatment was an excellent preventive measure.

•         Another study showed that 22% of migraine patients reported a 90% decrease in their attacks after chiropractic treatment.

•         In Australia, a study done in 1999 consisting of 127 patients reported that those who received chiropractic care were less likely to use medications because the severity and frequency of attacks were significantly decreased.

•         In that Australian study, 80% of patients said that stress was a significant trigger, leading scientists to believe that chiropractic care helps the body react better to stress.

Your Chiropractor’s Natural Treatment for Headaches

When you’re moving, thinking, and working at your best, chronic headaches or migraines are easier to control and manage with other self-care methods like:

•         Getting more physical activity.  Our body releases endorphins when we exercise. These make you feel great and more energized. If you work at a desk or sit for most of the day, make the simple change of getting a standing desk (or standing desk attachment) or getting up and moving around more during the day. 

•         Eating a healthier and more balanced diet. You are what you eat.  The food you eat may be the reason for your body aches and pains. It’s worth the effort to change what you eat. At the very least, try eliminating gluten and dairy from your meals and snacks.

•         Drinking more water. Dehydration is a common problem in those with chronic headaches or migraines. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water.  If you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces (about 9.5 cups) of water each day.

•         Supplementing vitamins and minerals to address likely deficiencies. Most of us are deficient in something.  While treating headaches, I generally advise patients to start on magnesium and vitamin D3 to get started.

•         Developing solid stress-coping techniques.  Deep breathing,meditation, daily walks, affirmations, exercise, hot baths, massage—do what works for you to keep stress levels down. 

I’ve treated migraines and headaches for over 20 years. I’m also a migraineur.  That means I have dozens of tools and resources that’ll help you manage chronic headaches or migraines.  My individualized treatment plans target troublesome areas in your spine and correct the malalignment so your body can function at its greatest potential.  When you’re at your best, so is your ability to take on the challenge of treating headaches or migraines.  You’re not alone.  We can help you if you’re near Norwalk.  Give us a call or request an appointment online today.  

Sources:

ACA Today Headaches and Chiropractic Care

Migraine.com – Is migraine a disease or a condition?

Health Writer Hub – Disease, disorder, condition, syndrome – what’s the difference?

Healthline – What’s the Difference Between Migraines and Headaches?

Should You Get A Standing Desk for Back Pain?

Should You Get A Standing Desk for Back Pain?

We do it all the time.  We do it while driving, working, eating, watching TV, waiting for appointments, and even while going to the bathroom.  We sit constantly, and because of too much sitting, symptoms of neck and back pain worsen. Back pain is the most common medical problem we treat as chiropractors. In the U.S. alone, it affects 8 out of every 10 people, so isn’t it time we find ways of combatting this rising problem?  With other healthy lifestyle measures, a standing desk can help improve back pain.  

Sitting with Back Pain: The Science

First, let’s review some of the bad things that happen to our bodies in a sedentary (primarily sitting) lifestyle. In 2017, a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine reported that sitting throughout the day for long periods contributes to an increased risk of death. Plenty of studies exist that warn us against a sedentary lifestyle too.  Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to:

·         Chronic neck and back pain

·         Weight gain

·         Heart disease

·         Type 2 diabetes

·         Hypertension

·         High cholesterol

Much can go wrong when we don’t move our bodies. A standing desk could be a simple solution to combat any of the above, but there are other benefits. 

The Benefits of Using a Standing Desk for Back Pain

Standing desks are still relatively new to the market, but they’re touted as helping improve posture, increase productivity, and relieve aches and pains in the back, shoulders, and neck. There haven’t been extensive studies, so some of the benefits are observed and assumed based on a comparison to sitting all day.

·         Researchers found that those who spend more time standing have better-regulated blood sugar.  Levels return to normal faster after meals on those days.

·         That same study found there’s a slightly higher calorie burn when you’re standing.

·         People who use standing desks report higher energy and productivity.

·         There are also reports of better focus and concentration.

A standing desk may not be for everyone, though.  Jobs that require fine motor skills, for instance, may be better done while sitting.  When appropriately used, standing desks are an excellent addition to any healthy living initiative you may be taking on.  But as with all interventions, doing it wrong could lead to problems like exacerbated back and neck pain and new foot and ankle pain.

How to Use a Standing Desk

It’s surprisingly easy to get standing wrong. Whether you’re using a standing desk, making one with stacks of books, or using a laptop stand, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. 

1.       Don’t overdo it on time. The enthusiasm for standing at your workstation all day is admirable, but don’t overdo it.  Work yourself up to standing for long periods. Don’t stand for more than an hour at a time.  If that’s too much, try alternating standing to sitting positions every 20-30 minutes until you’re ready to move up the timing. 

2.       Wear good shoes. The fun of standing at your desk can dissipate quickly if you’re standing on a hard surface or wearing the wrong shoes. Make sure your feet, ankles, and back are well supported with good shoes and soft ground to stand on.  If you don’t have control over that, or it’s too costly to change, try a grounding or standing mat

3.       Ergonomics is key. Make sure your elbows are close to your body, and your wrists aren’t at odd angles while you’re standing and working.  Shoulders and neck should be aligned straight; screens should be directly in front of your eyes.  It’s best not to look up or down at them. If you use more than one monitor, don’t keep your neck turned at one screen for more than a few minutes at a time.

4.       Move! If you can, find ways to move around while you’re standing and working.  Sway side to side or walk in place for a few seconds.  Use the chair legs to put yourself in a stepping position for a few minutes, and alternate feet. 

Standing desks can make a real difference in your back pain and other areas of your life; however, be careful when using this tool.  If you’ve been using a laptop stand or standing desk for back pain and you find it’s getting worse, you may be using it wrong.  Try these tips, and if you’re still struggling, we can help you here at Slovin Chiropractic Center.  Whether you’re here in Norwalk or too far to come in, we can help you find a regimen that works for back pain.  

Sources:

UT Southwestern Medical Center: Can a standing desk help my back pain?

Harvard Health Publishing: The truth behind standing desksStart Standing:  10 Things You’re Doing Wrong at Your Standing Desk