mount prospect Headache treatment

Headaches are one of the most common complaints in the world today. They are not really unique to any geographic area, population, gender, race or age. It is estimated that 75% of humans suffer from this condition and it’s getting worse each year. For some, an occasional headache here and there serves only as an annoyance that will soon be gone while for others it has become a way of life as they suffer on a daily basis with debilitating agony.

In my lifetime I have seen our culture become increasingly more and more dependent on medication to “survive” and yet again, Americans just don’t get it. Please understand that pain is nothing more than a warning sign built into our autonomic nervous system to help us survive. Pain is NOT to be ignored. It is providing an alert saying “please help me” BEFORE it gets worse and possibly untreatable. Now you may finally understand why taking a drug to HIDE your pain is really a bad (if not stupid) idea. I suggest that you all start to focus on the CAUSE rather than the symptoms. I’m not suggesting you suffer but just be better educated on WHY you hurt instead of hoping it just goes away some day.

Most headaches (80%) originate from the base of your skull at the top of your spine. These are called Cervogenic Headaches. The suboccipital region is commonly irritated by stress, sleeping on your stomach, a whiplash from an auto accident, the wrong pillow, holding your phone between your shoulder and ear, wearing a cervical collar for too long, too much computer time/video games, inactivity/over activity and being traumatically pulled out of the birth canal before your life even begins. These bad biomechanics stress the spine and lock up the facet joints causing inflammation that radiates up into your skull into different regions. If this daily complaint pattern is not broken, you will form “joint fixation” and eventually arthritis and this is exactly how it begins. This is why many experience relief after their neck accidently “pops/cracks”. They simply broke the fixation between the recalcitrant joint(s) and corrected the problem. Chiropractors “adjust” such an area with their hands and restore normal joint function. That characteristic popping sound is proof that your condition is being corrected. Nothing is more direct and effective than the spinal adjustment. I reiterate; do you want to correct or ignore?

Migraine headaches are another common complaint we see on a regular basis. These too can be affected by bad biomechanics as nerves control blood flow. Misaligned vertebrae compress and pinch these nerves and function is impaired. More commonly these are triggered by light, smells, food and stress. This will influence the size of the vessel and swell inside the brain. This is also why long term coffee drinkers have similar effects after stopping caffeine. Our approach is to discover the primary cause and eliminate. Commonly we suggest a three week detox program to remove and discover food sensitivities. Grains and dairy are commonly found to cause inflammation ending with a headache.

Sinus headaches will be very common in Chicagoland in the coming winter season. Those mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses will likely dry out with heating season due to lack of moisture. Those dark, moist sinuses are also a great environment for fungal infection and that is why sinusitis seems to last forever. A bad diet with lots of refined carbohydrates (sugar) will do nothing except feed the fungal infection and tax your immune system. Dairy and grains can do the same thing. So keeping your air moist, your diet clean and drinking lots of filtered water will help prevent a lot of these headaches rather resorting to toxic medications that damage those delicate membranes.

Headaches that cause complaints like vomiting in the morning that go away with the day, clumsy movement, personality changes, speech changes, fever, bleeding, and seizures are all overt warning signs that require attention. Better to be safe than sorry.

In review, most headaches in my experience are the result of upper cervical (neck) biomechanical irritation as the precursor to facet joint fixation and muscle tension. Physical examination of the spine in conjunction with a weight bearing x-ray will reveal if these areas fit the pattern of this syndrome. Again, it’s just that simple.