A large percentage of our population experiences headaches from time to time; in the chiropractic profession, we are quite aware of the pain and misery caused by these headaches. Statistics show that Americans suffer from headaches that range on a pain scale from mild/dull to throbbing, intense, and debilitating, sometimes to the point of requiring bed rest in a dark and quiet room. The most common remedy is to reach for that bottle of pills and hope that the headache subsides, thus eliminating the loss of a productive day. Unfortunately, negative side effects of many medications render this approach ineffective eliminating this option as an answer to the problem. So what is a better treatment option?
The good news is that many studies have identified spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), the main type of care utilized by chiropractors, as being highly effective for treating popular types of headaches. This is particularly true for the tension-type headaches that arise in the neck and upper back. An important 2001 study reported that SMT provided almost immediate relief for headaches that arose from these areas with significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting results compared with commonly prescribed medications.
Another interesting study tracked the prevalence/frequency of headaches after treatment stopped. It was reported that patients receiving SMT continued to experience sustained benefits throughout the following weeks, and even months. This was contrasted to those that took only medications ; that group experienced an almost immediate return of symptoms when the medications were discontinued.
The most commonly prescribed medication for tension-type headaches are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASIDS). Common over-the-counter options include Ibuprophen (Advil, Nuprin, etc) and Alleve (Naproxen). For those who cannot take NASIDS, because of blood-thinners and/or stomach-liver-kidney problems, there is little help unless they take stronger and possibly more hazardous medications. An alternative is acetaminophen (Tylenol) which oftentimes is not as effective and can be hard on the liver and kidneys, especially when taken regularly and over a longer period of time.
What can you expect from a visit to the Chiropractor for your headaches? The typical approach begins with a thorough history/examination with an emphasis on evaluating the neck and upper back and the associated function of those areas. Because each patient is unique, the type of care provided will be individually structured based on the evaluation findings. So, if you are looking for a drug-free treatment option to eliminate your headache issue, remember there is another better and healthier option.
We are happy to share that many patients are choosing to get on the weight-loss bandwagon and ARE having tremendously successful results. People lose weight differently, based on their BMR (basal metabolic rate), age, discipline level when dieting. However, client that have completed our 6-week program agree that they feel better than they have in years. So, congratulations to those that have experienced these benefits and are now on the road to better health and energy levels, better sleep, and an improved overall feeling of well-being.
In addition, my wife, Linda, has been working with me with our Houston Contour Light treatments, a light therapy process using visible and non-visible light that has many applications, one of which is shrinking fat cells. It also has effectiveness for people with claudication and poor circulation because it stimulates the production of nitrous oxidase, a vasodilator, which allows an increase in blood flow and improved circulation. In addition, these treatments stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the substances that help firm and tighten muscles and reduce the appearance of cellulite/crepiness of skin tissue. Studies also confirm that another positive benefit of this light treatment is the production of serotonin. We concur from the feedback of many of our light treatment clients who report an improved sense of well-being and optimism.
Most significantly, it stimulates fat cells to expand, open pores and release fat, which is utilized as energy and/or processed out through the liver. When this process is repeated, the cells are reduced in size. This translates into inches lost for the client. It is not uncommon for a patient to see anywhere from 2-6 inches of loss in the first 25-minute treatment. We have had one patient complete the 6-week diet program while simultaneously receiving light treatments (a 12-session package) who lost a total of 22 inches. It is very exciting and encouraging to have 100% safe and effective program available for our clients.
IF you have any questions about these topics, please contact us at (713) 528-8800 or (713) 824-2365.