Are Headaches Normal?

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea.

The interesting thing is that most people seem to think that headaches are a normal part of life.  Patients come in to my office all the time and fill out their intake form complaining that they are here for back pain or shoulder pain etc.  On a separate part of the form it asks about headaches and they invariably check yes that they do get headaches of varying frequencies and intensity.  When I quiz them about their headaches they usually say oh they are just the normal headaches…….

What is a normal headache?  I would answer that there is no such thing.  Below is a picture of some of the more common headaches that people get and the areas where they feel the pain:

Types of Headaches

The most common is the tension type headache which usually is felt in the forehead, base of the skull, upper neck, and temple areas.  These are the most likely to be improved with conservative care but when you add acupuncture treatments to standard chiropractic care most forms of headaches can be helped.

According to the journal of Chiropractic medicine:

A 32-year-old woman presented with headaches of 5 months’ duration. She had a history of episodic migraine that began in her teens and had been controlled with medication. She had stopped taking the prescription medications because of gastrointestinal symptoms. A neurologist diagnosed her with mixed headaches, some migrainous and some tension type. Her headaches were chronic, were daily, and fit the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria of a chronic tension-type headache superimposed with migraine.

After 5 treatments over a 2-week period (the first using acupuncture only, the next 3 using acupuncture and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy), her headaches resolved. The patient had no recurrences of headaches in her 1-year follow-up.

Not all cases improve this quickly but as a general rule symptoms should start to decrease in the first three weeks of care. 

It’s Your Future Be There Healthy!

Author: Kelly Nesvold