Although headaches may seem a minor health problem, they have major implications on the sufferer and society.Headaches account for over 10 million MD visits each year in the U.S., and are one of the most common reasons for absence from work and school.
Medicine may offer temporary pain relief, but does nothing to correct the cause. Homeopathy, however, has done wonders in correcting the underlying causes behind most headaches. The simple addition of a contemporary homeopathic armamentarium better equips the chiropractor to correct the five basic types of headaches - tension, toxic, sinus, cluster and migraine - more so than any other practitioner.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache among adults. Up to 80 percent of the U.S. population suffers from occasional tension headaches, and 3 percent suffer from daily tension headaches. Women are twice as likely to suffer from tension headaches as men.
Tension headaches last from 30 minutes to several days. Common symptoms are band-like pain, pressure or throbbing. Severity usually increases significantly with headache frequency. Tension headaches may have multiple causes, including mental or emotional stress; depression; inadequate rest; poor posture; and/or chiropractic subluxation, causing pressure on nerves.
Toxic headaches are the least recognized medically, and can best be identified when directly associated with exposure to a toxin. However, most toxins are slow and insidious in their symptomatic nature. I recommend everyone look into the various homeopathic detoxification products that activate the body's magnificent detoxification mechanisms.
Sinus headaches most commonly occur around the forehead, cheekbones, eye orbits, and the base of the nose. Allopathic drugs rarely correct the causes of sinus headaches, and commonly leave the patient with chronic sinus problems.
Cluster headaches are usually one-sided and the most intense (up to 100 times more painful than a migraine). Fortunately, however, they are the least common, affecting less than one in 1,000 people. They typically start before age 30 and occur for a cluster of time, varying from two weeks to three months. The headaches will occur one to three times a day and last for 30-90 minutes. They commonly awaken a person one to two hours after going to bed.
After the cluster period, the occurrence of these headaches may cease for months or years, only to recur. Attacks appear to be linked to the circadian or biological clock associated with the pineal gland and hypothalamus, which regulate the sleep and wake cycles. These headaches occur most often during seasonal changes in spring or fall. They seem to be more associated with changes in daylight time, rather than allergy.
A migraine headache is a vascular-type headache associated with changes in the size of the arteries inside and outside the brain. An estimated 28 million Americans suffer from migraines, and an estimated additional 13 million have not been diagnosed. More women than men get migraines. Of those diagnosed, 25 percent suffer four or more attacks a month; 35 percent suffer 1-4 attacks a month; and the remaining 40 percent suffer one or less attacks a month. Most migraines last four hours to three days.
Four out of five migraine sufferers have a family history of migraines. A child has a 50 percent chance of having migraines if one parent has migraines, and a 75 percent chance of having migraines if both parents have them. Homeopathy does wonders in correcting the genetic predispositions to disease.
Potential migraine triggers include stress; chemicals; caffeine; weather conditions; menstrual periods; fatigue; poor sleep patterns; and meal-skipping. Symptoms may include aura; sensitivity to light, noise or odors; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and stomach upset or abdominal pain. Children having migraines also may look pale and experience dizziness, blurred vision and/or fever or stomach upset.
Headache pain is one of the ways the body expresses that something is wrong. Homeopathy, like chiropractic, works on activating the body's ability to express health, rather than the suppression of disease.
Homeopathy is a highly individualized healing art. The key to its great success is finding the related formulas for each individual. There are a number of homeopathic products designed to get to the underlying root causes behind most headaches, and many times, people may need multiple homeopathic formulas to truly correct the various inner causes.
Typical formulas to consider, depending on your homeopathic product line of choice, are listed on page 27. Well-formulated homeopathic products, combined with new contemporary procedures, are a more user-friendly approach for the high-volume, broad-spectrum practice, empowering the chiropractor to help 50-100 patients per day!
- Headache relief formulas are great for the majority of headaches and associated symptoms, including throbbing; splitting; tight; bursting; dull; sick; sinus; congestive; morning headaches; sun headaches; and "band" feeling around the head.
- Back neck muscle and joint relief formulas strengthen the spinal joints, which can cause chiropractic subluxation and nerve pressure when weak, leading to headache.
- Stress control formulas help the body positively process the stresses that cause many headaches.
- Anxiety and nervousness formulas help the body positively process the stresses that cause many headaches.
- TMJ/jaw formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Migraine relief formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Sinus relief formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Eye stress formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Yeast formulas treat associated headache symptoms, including candida.
- Fatigue relief formulas treat associated headache symptoms, burnout and low blood sugar.
- Allergy/food and chemical relief formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Allergies and hay fever formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Various detoxification formulas treat associated headache symptoms.
- Hangover relief formulas - Even though the patient may not be a drinker, this product may hold a key ingredient for a rare case.
Frank King, DC, ND
Asheville, North Carolina
Click here for previous articles by Frank King, DC.