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Our Chiropractor in Duluth Explains the Difference Between Chronic Headaches and Migraines

Migraines and chronic headaches are similar, yet differ primarily in terms of cause, severity, and associated symptoms. Consider the following info from our chiropractor in Duluth:

woman suffering from headaches

The tension headache is the most common type of headache experienced, accounting for an estimated three quarters of all cases (other types include cluster headaches, similar to a migraine, and sinus headaches, related to sinus dysfunction). Someone with a tension headache will typically feel a dull achy sensation in a band-like distribution around their head or on one or both sides of the head. This pain can last from anywhere for a few minutes to a few days. 

Anyone can get tension headaches, which are also known as cervicogenic. This means that the primary cause is strain in the spine and shoulders, which leads to pain, tension, and stiffness in the muscles that attach in the head. 

Migraines aren't as common as tension headaches (affecting around 25 million Americans, mostly women), however they are generally much more severe and come with additional hallmark symptoms, including nausea, light sensitivity, vomiting, and other visual, auditory, and scent sensations. 

Migraine pain usually feels like severe throbbing or pulsing, and is generally experienced on one side of the head. 

What's Causing Your Chronic Headaches and Migraines?

There are several potential causes and triggers of chronic headaches (tension or otherwise) and migraines, many of which can be controlled: 

  • Poor posture
  • Jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Muscle strain and referred muscular pain 
  • After effects of sports and auto accident injuries
  • Medication side effects
  • Low blood sugar
  • High blood pressure
  • Stress

Migraines specifically are believed to happen when blood vessels in the head constrict and then dilate, leading to an increase in localized blood pressure and pain. Triggers of migraines can vary from person to person but may include flashing lights, alcohol, certain foods, and stress and fatigue.

Headache & Migraine Treatments From Our Duluth Chiropractor

Research supports the use of chiropractic care in the treatment of migraines and chronic headaches. In fact, our Duluth chiropractor utilizes several non-invasive and drug-free headache and migraine treatments that come with little to no risk of side effects, unlike more traditional treatments such as pain medication.

Check out some of these specific services we offer: 

  • Chiropractic adjustments 
  • Nutritional counseling 
  • Body mechanics and postural re-training

These services can provide immediate pain relief and help reduce the frequency of recurring headaches and migraines. 

Are you one of the million Americans living with migraines or chronic headaches?

Get drug-free relief with our Duluth chiropractor by calling  Associated Chiropractic Physicians today at (218) 728-3686.

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