When Should You Be Concerned About a Headache?

Unfortunately, headaches are very common. In fact, they are one of the most common symptoms experienced by humans. However, just because they are common does not mean they are normal. Headaches are never a normal part of life.

Even though it’s common to experience a headache, if you’ve have a headache that’s sudden, severe or lasting, you might be worried that there’s a serious problem. Let’s explore what a headache is, how you might treat it at home, and when you should get advice from a healthcare professional.

What Is a Headache?

Technically, a headache can be any pain in the head, face, or neck area. Headaches might be caused by muscle tension, nerve pain, dehydration, be a symptom of another illness, or be bought on by certain foods and drinks or medications.

There are two general categories of headaches: primary and secondary. Primary headaches are the most common, describing headaches that ‘just happen’ without any known illness or injury causing them. These include tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches have a known underlying cause, like an existing illness, hormonal changes, sinus infection, tooth inflammation, or a side effect of medications/drugs.

Emergency or Not?

A headache can be a symptom of a serious condition, such as a stroke, meningitis, or encephalitis.

Go to a hospital emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number if you’re experiencing the worst headache of your life, a sudden, severe headache like you have never experienced before or a headache accompanied by:

  • Confusion or trouble understanding speech
  • Fainting
  • Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body
  • Sudden stiff neck
  • Trouble seeing, speaking or walking
  • Nausea or vomiting (if not clearly related to the flu or a hangover)

You might want to consider chiropractic care if you experience headaches that have ONE or MORE of these characteristics:

  • Occur regularly (more than once or twice a year)
  • Are more severe than usual
  • Keep you from working, sleeping or participating in normal activities
  • You need to use over the counter medications to get through the day
  • Cause you distress, and you would like to find options that enable you to either control them better or possibly correct the underlying cause

How Can a Chiropractor Help?

Chiropractic doctors across the globe have seen dramatic improvements and even resolution of ongoing headaches in their patients. This is because a condition commonly known as Vertebral Subluxation is an underlying reason why people experience ongoing headaches. Vertebral Subluxation occurs when one or more of the spinal bones misalign and get locked out of place. This causes an alteration in the nerve flow through the nervous system. This also causes tightening of the muscles on either side of the neck. The body often responds with headaches as a signal that something is wrong. However, many people do not know how to read that signal, so they write it off as “normal” and cover it up with anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Don’t make that mistake!

So if you want to see if chiropractic can help you live a healthier, happier, more vibrant life without headaches, schedule an appointment with us to get a check-up for Vertebral Subluxation.

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