Headache Care: A Reno, NV Chiropractor’s Perspective

Headaches are a very common problem that we care for here at Luxiam Chiropractic. And it’s no wonder because 50% of people will report a headache every year, and 4% of the world’s population suffers from headaches 15 or more days every month. The Causes of headaches vary, and can include emotional stress, anxiety & depression, medical conditions (such as high blood pressure or infection), physical or mechanical injuries, nerve irritation, dysfunction in your spine, tight muscles, trigger points and environmental stressors such as weather, or allergies. In our office in Reno, Nevada, we focus mainly on the mechanical and physical but we can also help you with lifestyle changes for other causes.

Headaches are common…but they are not normal. They’re one way your body signals you that something is wrong. If your headaches are coming from your spine not moving correctly or being out of alignment, they will not go away until you have addressed the underlying issue. This is what Chiropractors specialize in. It is important to find the root cause of the problem and determine if the headaches are originating from the muscles, joints, discs or somewhere else.

How We Treat Headaches In Reno, NV

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
History and consultation with your doctor who will really listen to your concerns and health goals. Initial exams include a chiropractic, functional, orthopedic and neurological exam to best understand the cause of your pain and get to the root cause of the problem.

Chiropractors specialize in the detection and correction of subluxations. When a joint is misaligned, it puts extra stress and pressure into the muscles and ligaments. The stress into the soft tissues creates an irritation or process of inflammation that can result in pressure into the surrounding nerves. This series of findings is known as a subluxation complex. The vertebral subluxation complex causes dysfunction in the spine and can result in pressure on the nerves as they exit the spine. Specific Chiropractic adjustments correct subluxation by restoring movement to the body and decreasing the stress points in the surrounding soft tissues.

X-Rays and Diagnostics for Headaches
One of the most important elements of chiropractic care is diagnostics. Chiropractic radiology is a tool utilized in care as a diagnostic practice to see exactly what is going on with your spine and determine if misalignments are present. Assess the curve in your cervical spine, posture of spine, disc space and health of the joints. The information acquired through X-ray helps the chiropractor fully understand what is occurring in the patient’s musculoskeletal system, and how a given treatment intervention could bring about positive results in each patient.

We take specific x-rays in order to determine the most effective way to adjust your neck. The assessment of your images helps the doctor determine the appropriate adjustment to help restore function to your neck. X-rays allow your chiropractor to avoid any guessing as to how to correct your subluxation. All x-rays are developed digitally to eliminate the use of film and chemicals in the office. We will go over your X-ray study together so that you understand exactly what is going on with your body before being adjusted.

One of the most important elements of chiropractic care is diagnostics. Chiropractic radiology is a tool utilized in care as a diagnostic practice to see exactly what is going on with your spine and determine if misalignments are present. The information acquired through X-ray helps the chiropractor fully understand what is occurring in the patient’s musculoskeletal system, and how a given treatment intervention could bring about positive results in each patient.

We take specific x-rays in order to determine the most effective way to eliminate your headaches. X-rays allow your chiropractor to avoid any guessing as to how to correct your subluxation and take pressure off of the nerve and allow your spine to function properly. If your headaches are caused by a subluxation, it won’t get better until that is addressed and corrected.

Determining the Root Cause of Headaches
Some headaches are caused by misalignments in the cervical vertebrae which can cause nerve pressure and muscle tension in the neck. They occur when the spine’s vertebrae slip out of alignment and cause pressure on the nervous system. This can cause pain, muscle tension, and poor performance of the body’s natural functions.

Tense muscles interrupt the nerve messages from the neck to the brain and can pull the vertebrae out of alignment, causing subluxations. Your chiropractor will determine if subluxations are the cause of your headache and perform a cervical adjustment to help relieve muscle tension and reduce the misalignments to restore balance to your body.

Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan

Following a series of adjustments to restore alignment to your body, we recommend specific exercises to support the healing of your muscles and ligaments. Muscle weakness or imbalances can cause the body to fall out of alignment. We look to correct and restore optimal function in your body through corrective adjustments and specific exercise protocols to support your body. Stretching and strengthening are key components to correcting your problems and setting you up for long-term success.

Chin Tuck Stretch
Gently bend your head forwards with one hand whilst guiding your chin towards your chest with the other until you start to feel a stretch at the back of the neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat a few times

Cervical Extensor Stretch
To further stretch these tight muscles at base of the skull, with the head bent forwards, turn the head about 20-30 degrees to one side.

If you turn to the left, then use the right hand to gently tilt the head forwards. You should have your hand hold the base of your skull whilst doing this stretch, to feel the stretch underneath your fingers.

Hold for 5-10 seconds only, then turn the head 20-30 degrees to the right, then use the left hand to stretch the other side. Repeat 5 times on each side.

Shoulder Rolls
To finish off your stretching session, gently roll both your shoulders forwards 5 times, then roll them backwards 5 times. This will allow the muscles that you have been stretching to help loosen up as well. Try to perform these stretches regularly if you are prone to headaches to help prevent them from coming on as frequent.

Common Types of Headaches in Reno, NV

Tension Headaches
Nine out of ten Americans say that they suffer from headaches. Some of these people experience headaches frequently. Some experience constant headaches that are very painful. These can even make a person nauseous. Many of these types of headaches are not caused by a disease, but from something in your body that is not sitting correctly.

In our office we perform an in-depth assessment to determine the root cause of your tension headaches. If misalignments are detected and confirmed to be the cause of the headache, specific adjustments are performed to realign the spine and restore optimal function and healing potential to your body.

Migraine Headaches
Pain can be throbbing or pulsing and extreme. Migraines often present on one side of the head and can cause nausea, vomiting as well as sensitivity to light and sound. Some people see an aura before or during the migraine headache.

Luxiam Chiropractic focuses on the Upper Cervical Spine when we are looking to get to the root cause of migraines. We focus on making sure the top two bones of the neck are in alignment. The C1 and C2 vertebrae provide protection for the brainstem. But they can put it under stress and cause it to malfunction if they move out of alignment resulting in severe migraines.

Cluster Headaches
One of the most painful types of headaches can awaken you in the middle of the night with pain in or around one eye or on one side of your head. Headaches will come in cluster periods that can last weeks to months followed by remission periods.

Getting to the root cause of the headache is an essential component to restoring balance and harmony to your body. Although headaches are common, they are not normal. This is a powerful signal from your body that it is experiencing an imbalance.

Allergy or Sinus Headaches
Allergies can affect us at any time of the year. There are seasonal allergies that can result in headaches. This type of headache will feel like pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. It can be caused by a sinus infection or inflammation from allergies. Pain usually worsens if you bend forward or lie down because of the pressure within the sinuses.

Relieving the pressure and helping your body to clear out the sinuses naturally is one of the ways that chiropractic care can be helpful for relieving allergy or sinus headaches.

Cervicogenic Headache
A large majority of headaches are a result of the muscles and joints around the upper neck becoming too tight, putting pressure on nerves at the top of your spine. People who suffer this affliction can wake up with it first thing in the morning, or it can develop during a long work day, particularly if you have a desk-based job.

Pain can originate with problems in the neck but present with radiating discomfort in the head. Some cervicogenic headaches start in the back of the head and wrap around to the front. Pain and stiffness in the neck can be the primary cause of headaches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a chiropractor in Reno, NV good for headaches?

Many people have found relief from headaches following specific chiropractic adjustments. Luxiam chiropractic specializes in the Gonstead Technique which is a time tested system for assessing and determining exactly where in the spine to adjust.

When should you see a chiropractor for headaches?

If headaches do not resolve themselves with hydration, proper sleep and regular movement, it is recommended to have your spine checked by a chiropractor. Headaches are common; however they are not normal and should not be ignored.

How can I relieve my headaches?

Understanding the cause of the headache is essential for choosing the best strategy for relief. First start with hydration, a balanced diet and adequate rest. If headaches persist, it would be appropriate to have a thorough exam to detect the root cause of the headaches.

Can getting your neck adjusted help with headaches?

Yes. Thousands of people have found chiropractic care to be a safe and effective method for relief from headaches.

Is chiropractic effective for migraines?

If the migraines are related to irritation to the nerves exiting the neck, chiropractic can be very effective for reducing migraines. If misalignments are detected and confirmed to be the cause of the headache, specific adjustments are performed to realign the spine and restore optimal function and healing potential to your body.