Chiropractic Ways To Treat Your Headache
A severe headache causes significant financial impact on the individual, the employer, and the health care system. Taking into consideration the cost of lost work and productivity, billions are spent annually in the United States. Direct costs are calculated at more than one billion dollars. One recent study found that children evaluated at a headache center had a quality of life comparable to children with rheumatoid diseases or cancer. 57% of men and 76% percent of women report at least one significant headache per month. Approximately 27 million Americans have suffered from migraine headaches.
Although they are a common ailment, headaches often do not warrant a visit to the doctor’s office. Many patients resort to over-the-counter medications. Headaches may be the most common reason for the use of OTC analgesic medications. 27% of patients reporting headaches have sought alternative management. Chiropractic care was the most common alternative therapy sought by these patients.
In the chiropractic office, one of the most common headache presentations is associated with whiplash. Headaches are one of the two most reported complaints after whiplash. Numerous studies indicate that a high percentage of whiplash patients (70%-90%) develop a headache. Migraine is prevalent in 6.5% of males and 18.2% of females. The prevalence of migraine increases from age 12 – 40 and then declines. Tension type headaches affect 38% of U.S. adults.
Only about 2% of patients in-office and 4% of patients in an emergency room setting will be diagnosed with a headache indicating serious pathology. Although the clear majority of headaches are not life threatening, the doctor initially must screen for secondary causes. Screening the patient with headache historically is the most fruitful, time-effective, and inexpensive approach. Expensive imaging is rarely needed.
In our office, we shall determine which cases are appropriate for referral. However, referral is rarely needed given the low incidence of serious causes. Often in conjunction with spinal manipulation, modifying behavior such as sleep, diet and exercise can be effective. We may consider the use of supplemental support or herbal alternatives including feverfew. Contact our office today if you need assistance treating your headache.