Headaches treatment differs based on several factors. The most common causes of headaches are tight/overworked muscles in the head, face, and neck, joint dysfunction in the neck, trauma to the spine, stress, malnutrition, dehydration, and eye strain.  Chiropractic treatment and soft tissue treatment such as Active Release Techniques, are effective in reducing pain and tension associated with headaches.

Types of headaches

Migraines: headache caused by the enlarging and narrowing of blood vessels in the skull.  Often has a trigger such as a smell, a certain food, or changes in temperature or pressure.

Tension: Tight and tender muscles of the face, head, and neck are responsible for headache pain.

Cervicogenic: Headhache pain stems from a fixation in the cervical spine (neck).

Headache condition treated by Oakland chiropractor Dr. Sandy Baird
Oakland chiropractor Dr. Sandy Baird treats a patient with a headache

Treatment for headaches

Chiropractic treatment: gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments are delivered to the “stuck” joints in order to restore normal motion.  Once they are moving properly again, they are no longer a source of headache pain.

Active Release Techniques treatment: designed to release the tension in the tight muscles that are causing the headache.  Common culprits are the trapezius muscles (they attach right at the back of the skull!), scalene muscles (along the sides of the neck), occipital muscles, masseter muscles (span the area between the cheekbone and the jawbone), and temporalis muscles (on the sides of the skull above the ears).  Any of these muscles can become overworked and develop adhesions which cause pain and limit range of motion.  A.R.T. is designed to reduce the adhesions in order to decrease headache pain.

Your chiropractor will be able to determine exactly which muscles and which joints are involved in your headache pain, and then put together a treatment plan that will help get you out of pain.

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