If you have ever felt a throbbing in your temples, an acute pain behind your eyes, or unbelievable tension in any part of your head, then you are not alone. Up to 250 million work days are lost each year as the result of extreme headaches. While for many of us, headaches are an infrequent occurrence, some people suffer from a form of chronic headache, meaning that they experience multiple episodes of debilitating head pain each month.Although most patients use a combination of pain-relieving drugs to try and alleviate their discomfort, experts are now finding new and improved therapies that don’t require medications. At Valley Spinal Care, Dr. Justin Pierce successfully treats patients with chronic headaches, helping them achieve optimal health and wellness.
There are many different varieties of headache, and they can vary in both intensity, and the symptoms that they present with.Tension headaches are by far the most commonly reported type of headache. Characterized by a tight feeling across the forehead, patients with tension headaches also experience pain and aches in other parts of their head and neck. Other common varieties of headache include blood sugar headaches, hormone headaches, cluster headaches and sinus headaches.In some instances, headaches are accompanied by sensory disturbances and a range of other complex symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. When this happens, it is referred to as a migraine. Migraines tend to fall into one of two categories – migraines with auras and migraines without auras. Migraines with auras are characterized by visual disturbances, in addition to the head pain, which can include colored spots or blind spots, flashing lights and tunnel vision.
Chiropractors can help improve the pain associated with headaches and migraines, if they believe that the pain is caused by a misalignment in the vertebrae of the spine.Often in these instances, the misalignment is caused by poor posture, such as sitting slouched at a desk. If the vertebrae become misaligned, it can in turn create interference in the nerves running between the spine and the head, causing pain, tingling, and other neurological symptoms.A simple physical examination is usually all that is needed for your chiropractor to determine if manual manipulation of the vertebrae will be able to provide pain relief from headaches.Some patients may notice an immediate improvement, while others will find that they need a series of chiropractic appointments for a sustained relief in the symptoms caused by headaches or migraines.
At Valley Spinal Care, we may recommend a treatment known as Sphenopalatine Ganglion blocks or SPG blocks.The Sphenopalatine Ganglion is a group of nerve cells that is linked to the trigeminal nerve – the main nerve involved in headaches and migraines. Located behind the nose, this nerve carries out a range of autonomic functions, from tearing to nasal congestion, as well as carrying information such as pain signals. When the nerve becomes partially or fully blocked, the transmission of pain signals is interrupted, reducing the effect of headaches and migraines.SPG blocks can be administered in several ways, including via cotton swabs placed at the back of the nose, or an injection through an area of the cheek into the sphenopalatine ganglion. It is also now possible to have an SPG block using numbing medications which are administered via a catheter into the nose, in a process which is considered more effective than cotton swabs and less invasive than injections.
If you are suffering from regular headaches or migraines, and you are fed up with relying on NSAIDs and other pain medications to alleviate your suffering, chiropractic intervention could be the solution to your pain.Our knowledgeable spinal care team in Scottsdale, AZ would be delighted to advise you further about chiropractic adjustments, and SPG block treatment for headaches and migraines. Call our office today at 602-362-7900 to learn more.