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How Chiropractic Care and Active Release Technique Can Help With Headache And Migraine Pain

Headaches are very common. Approximately 50% of people will experience a headache every year, and for some people, headaches can be so frequent they interfere with their ability to function on a day-to-day basis.

People who suffer from headaches and migraines can miss important events, can be unable to go to work, and may find it difficult to get through the day.

The three most common causes of headaches:

1) Migraine

This is felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head. It can be accompanied by feeling sick and sensitivity to light.

2) Tension headache

This is the most common type of headache. It is felt as pain on both sides of the head and can be accompanied by neck ache.

3) Cluster headache

This type of headache is rare and severe. It is felt as a severe pain above one eye.

Can chiropractic care and Active Release Technique help with migraines and headaches?

Chiropractic care is mostly centered around making manual adjustments to the spine and joints in order to reduce misalignment and inflammation. Since chiropractic care takes a holistic approach to patient care, it also incorporates other treatments such as stretching, massage, and exercise.

Active Release Technique (ART) is a treatment that many chiropractors and, since it focuses on the soft tissue, can be a good complement to the spinal and joint manipulations of classic chiropractic care. ART works on the basis that stress, trauma, and injury can result in a build-up of scar tissue adhesions in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (connective tissue). During treatment, the clinician will press deeply on the area that is injured while the patient is instructed to move it from a lengthened to a shortened position. This works to break the scar tissue adhesions up, increasing blood flow to the area, and improving the range of motion.

Migraines

Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for migraines. While the cause of migraines isn’t certain, researchers suggest that chiropractic care can help with migraines that are caused by cervical spine conditions directly through spinal manipulations and they can also help by altering the nervous system’s pain sensitivity and by reducing stress (-Randomized-Controlled-Trial-of-Chiropractic-Spinal-Manipulative-Therapy-for-Migraine.pdf).

Active Release Technique (ART) could also help with migraine by reducing the sensitivity of trigger points in the neck 

Tension headache

Tension headaches can be caused by the contraction of muscles in the head and neck. Chiropractic care can reduce the frequency of tension headaches by ensuring that the neck is in proper alignment and not causing strain in the head or neck muscles 

Active Release Technique (ART) can also help to reduce the frequency and severity of tension headaches by breaking down adhesions and scar tissue in the suboccipital region 

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches are so severe that they cause an extreme amount of stress. Chiropractic care may not help to stop the cycle of cluster headaches, but it could help to reduce cervical stress, which can reduce the severity of symptoms 

Chiropractic care and Active Release Technique (ART) can be effective treatment options for many types of headaches, especially migraines and tension headaches. Combining the two treatments, with a focus on breaking up adhesions in the soft tissue alongside improving the alignment of the spine, could work together to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines.

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