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Posted on 11-29-2012

When a headache strikes, it can easily knock you off your feet. Aside from the throbbing pain, there may also be nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. We know how recurring headaches negatively affects family life, social activity, and work capacity. It comes as no surprise then that headaches cost the U.S. economy an estimated $17 billion a year in lost work, disability payments, and health care expenses.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has found that:

· As many as 45 million Americans have chronic severe headaches that can be disabling.

· Headaches result in more than 8 million doctor visits a year.

· 70% of Americans will suffer headache pain severe enough to seek medical attention.

· A smaller but substantial percentage of these patients have daily or frequent chronic headaches.

· 25% of women and 8% of men get migraines sometime in their lifetime. About half of these people get their first migraine before the age of 20, and 98% before the age of 50. Most migraines occur between the ages of 25 and 50.

Most people with a headache use nonprescription pain relievers to treat their symptoms. Did you know that a list of 14 different types of headaches have been documented by the International Headache Society, or IHS? Among the most common forms of headache are tension-type headaches, migraine, chronic daily headache, and Cervicogenic headache, or CGH. Are symptom masking medications the solution? Of course, preventing headaches begins by avoiding the triggers. Most often, this means eating healthy whole foods (avoiding most processed ones) and managing your stress effectively. Regular exercise will also help to keep headaches away by improving your response to stress along with the underlying inflammatory conditions that can trigger headaches.

However, for most modern day Americans, the stress comes all too often with our daily routines. In this age of technology, we spend too many hours in front of our computers and looking down at our smart phones, which cause prolonged neck flexion and the accompanied neck and shoulder tension.

To counteract these postural stressors, Chiropractic and massage can be a natural and effective strategy with long-term benefits. This is because Chiropractic and massage affects the nervous system by correcting misalignments, the mechanical stressor, and stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural 'feel good' chemicals. Endorphins help induce relaxation and a sense of well-being, relieve pain, and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline -- reversing the damaging effects of stress by slowing heart rate, respiration, and metabolism and lowering raised blood pressure.

Typical treatments include spinal manipulation, mobilization, device-assisted spinal manipulation, advice on lifestyle improvements, physical therapy modalities, heat/ice, massage, advanced soft tissue therapies such as trigger point therapy, and strengthening and stretching exercises. All of these treatments are generally available from a Chiropractic physician.

For natural pain relief call our office today 843-225-4080 or visit Doctor Alex Cooker at Charleston's family chiropractic pain relief and wellness center.

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