January 2007 Newsletter
Have a Safe, Happy and Healthy New Year!
Doctor, can you cure my Headache?
Do you suffer from chronic headaches? Do they seem to get worse in times of stress? If you answered "yes" to these questions, you are not alone. More than 27% of females, and 13% of males questioned in a study performed in the United States suffer from severe headaches. Keep reading to find out more!
What is a headache?Most people would be surprised to learn that the ache felt during a headache does not originate from the brain. The brain is unable to feel pain or sensation. The ache actually originates from the surrounding covering over the brain, or meninges, cranial nerves, veins, and arteries. When these structures are stretched, irritated or inflamed headaches are often the result. Many things can cause headaches, including stress, high blood pressure, vision conditions, sinus trouble, intense light or smells, alcohol and accidents. Several people get headaches secondary to TemporoMandibular Joint Dysfunction as well. More than 85% of headaches people experience can be classified as muscle tension headaches. These are headaches brought on by stress, muscle tightness and tension, or an underlying cervical subluxation.
The Medical Approach
Many people seeking treatment for headaches often turn to medication such as aspirin or Tylenol. While these drugs may help ease the pain, they do not correct the initial cause of the headache, and many times the headache returns. The overuse of these medications can also cause "rebound headaches". This type of headache is brought on by low levels of the medication in the blood stream, which is essentially a dependency on the drug. Long term use of over the counter pain medications can also cause a variety of side effects such as stomach, kidney and liver damage.
The Chiropractic Approach
Millions of headache sufferers turn to chiropractic for help. Chiropractic is not a "cure" for headaches, but by removing subluxations it allows your body to work more efficiently at healing itself. Chiropractic care can also help remove the underlying cause of nerve irritation, or tight and inflamed muscles, which are often causes and almost always contribute to the severity of headaches. A healthy spine will improve your life in many ways -- ask Dr. Matt for details!
References: Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, Muscle Tension Headache, 1996.
How Do Problems in Your Spine Cause Headaches?
One of the main nerves responsible for sensation to the head and face is called the Trigeminal nerve. At the base of the skull, this nerve interacts with the nerve roots of the upper neck region. Any aggravation or irritation upon these nerve roots in the spine directly affects the trigeminal nerve, causing headaches. There are also several muscles that attach to both the skull and the cervical vertebrae. It's easy to imagine that if any of these muscles are in spasm, they could produce a headache. As always, if you have any questions regarding headaches, or any other chiropractic issue feel free to ask Dr. Matt.
Reference: The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Vol 105 * No 4 April 2005
Did You Know?
You should still get regular adjustments even if you're feeling "fine".
This is the time of year new years resolutions are made. One of the most common resolutions is to take better care of your health. Did you know that one of the ways you can hold true to that resolution is to get regular chiropractic adjustments? Regular chiropractic adjustments (yes--even when you're feeling "fine") are beneficial because they keep your body functioning at an optimal level. They can also cut down on the number of symptoms (i.e. painful neck or low back) you may experience. Even though you may not feel it, you may have a subluxation in your spinal column. Subluxations cause stress on the nervous system and make it harder for your body to fight infection and disease. If you are on maintenance care (symptom-free care), Dr. Matt often recommends an adjustment every 4 weeks to help keep your health on track. Both Dr. Matt and Katie get adjusted at least once a month to maintain their health, so you should too!
Chiropractic Care Saves You Money??
Need some extra cash this year? According to a study reported in Fundamentals of Chiropractic, maintenance chiropractic care can actually save you money. The subjects in the study were patients over the age of 65 who received a minimum of 4 chiropractic adjustments a year for 5 years. These patients averaged health care expenditures of $3,106 a year, while those patients who did not receive chiropractic care averaged $10,041 a year in health related expenditures. That is a difference of nearly $7000 a year! Not only does chiropractic keep you healthy, but it also saves you money!
Reference: Source: Iowa Chiropractic Society, Study Shows Savings With Chiropractic Care. August 2004.
Winter Tips to Keep Your Spine Healthy