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Headaches & Migraines

man touching temples in painWhen people come into our practice with headache complaints, our doctors let them know that just because they’re common, it doesn’t make them normal.

A headache is the body’s way of saying something else is going on.

Headaches may be due to tension in the muscles at the base of the skull, temporal headaches, sinus issues, or problems with the eyes. They can often be postural or from staring at a screen all day. And little known structural misalignments can be a major factor. From our experience the source of a patient’s headache is usually from multiple causes so we work to address them individually.

Migraines may have similar causes with a different set of symptoms. These include extreme pain, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, or the need to go into a cold, dark room and just go to sleep—which can be very debilitating.

For both headaches and migraines, we find upper cervical fixation at the atlas and axis (C1 & C2) is very common. When those areas of the spine surrounding and protecting the brainstem are stuck and not moving properly, patients tend to have a history of headaches and migraines.

Triggers and Techniques

During the consultation, our doctors look for triggers and discuss the strategies that have been helpful in the past. This information can help guide them as to where they look and what might help.

Our X-rays focus on the upper cervical area of the spine, specifically the natural curvature (lordotic curve) of the neck. If there is a loss in the lordotic curve, chronic tension is held in the body, leading to headaches and migraines. Until we correct the structural misalignment, no amount of migraine meds or naps will provide the needed relief.

At Freedom Chiropractic, we realize that not every technique is right for everyone we see with headache pain. To limit additional inflammation or pain, each care plan and protocol is based on the examination and X-rays. Manual adjustments may or may not be indicated.

Other techniques, such as the Activator® and the ArthroStim®, may be used for a more neurologically based adjustment. Our goal is to create long lasting results, not just to feel good for a few days.

More Than Chiropractic

Here are four easy ways to prevent headaches and migraines:

  • Focus on hydration—We are huge advocates of electrolytes, not just plain water, to help with hydration. When the body, cells, brain or neurology become dehydrated, it’s common to see headaches.
  • Focus on sleep—Just like dehydration, if you’re not getting proper sleep, your brain and neurology experience fatigue, and one of the common side effects is headaches or migraines.
  • Stretching—It’s important to stretch the muscles that are under continuous tension. In addition it is also important to strengthen weak muscles so being fatigued doesn’t add to the chronic nature of headaches and migraines.
  • Structural changes—If structural issues are present, we’ll give you exercises to restore the natural curvature of your neck to take stress off of your nervous system, and reduce symptoms and side effects.

Our doctors also discuss posture and ergonomics for people who spend many hours sitting at a desk or staring at a laptop. We provide tips on setup and some easy ways to relieve tension.

An easy way to start is by simply setting a timer for every 20, 30, or 40 minutes to remind you to stop what you’re doing and take a break. Get up and pull your ears back over your shoulders. Pull your shoulder blades down toward the floor and then look far away. Do that for 30 seconds, and then go back to what you were doing. This will help to ease the strain on your body and mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you help me?

We’ve had a lot of success in reducing and eliminating headaches and migraines, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Patients have to put in the work and be consistent in doing some things on their own, including being aware of their triggers. Once they’re found, it’s up to them to make changes where necessary.

How did I lose the curve in my neck?

The simple answer is we don’t know. In many cases, the underlying problem has existed for a long time, sometimes without symptoms, and has built up over time. The body’s neurology can only take so much before it reacts and symptoms occur. Remember, a symptom is the body saying something is wrong deep inside.

Book Today

Take that first step toward getting relief from your pain. Call us today to schedule your first visit!


Headaches & Migraines Colorado Springs CO | (719) 533-0303