A Real Pain in the Neck
According to the National Headache Foundation, almost 50 million people suffer from chronic headaches. More than 37 million people suffer from migraine headaches. Women have three times more migraines than men do. People also suffer from other types of headaches: sinus, cluster, tension, mixed headache sydrome (aka transformed migraines), acute headaches, hormone headaches and chronic progressive headaches.
Many people are content to treat headaches with drugs. While this may appear to be solving the problem, it is the equivalent of turning off a loud fire alarm and never looking for a fire. Headaches are symptoms! Symptoms are warning signs the human body has built in that are telling us something is wrong, find out what it is and fix it. By treating headaches as symptoms, often times, we overlook the
cause of why they are there in the first place. As a result, this “cause” is allowed to continue to create negative effects to the body. The damage accumulates and more serious dis-ease states occur. There are also side effects to all drugs. Acetaminophen, commonly taken for headaches, is the number one cause of liver failure in the United States according to WebMD.
Chiropractors do not diagnose the different types of headaches or treat them. A Doctor of Chiropractic spends thousands of hours learning human anatomy. His education is intense on the spine and nervous system. He will examine the entire spine; including the C1 vertebra, C2 vertebra and C3 vertebra; looking for VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS. Subluxations interfere with the normal flow of nerve impulses. When part of the body is not receiving its proper nerve supply (CAUSE), it starts to FUNCTION ABNORMALLY and build itself sick (TISSUE DAMAGE) and ultimately can result in the third stage of dis-ease (SYMPTOMS). Most people initially seek chiropractic care for their symptoms. They find that with time and repetition of gentle chiropractic adjustments, their body starts to return to NORMAL FUNCTION. As their body functions better, it starts to heal and their headaches and other dis-eases start to improve.
Symptoms: What are they?
There are approximately 420 million nerve tracts in the human nervous system. About 10% of these are responsible for feelings: pain, pleasure, numbness, hot, cold, etc. In the United States though, most of our healthcare systems, our health insurance industry and most people have 90% of their attention focused on symptoms or “how you feel”. Often, when a patient enters our office, they are focused 100% on their symptoms. Symptoms, such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain and numbness are not conditions. They are warning signs that something is going wrong and needs to be fixed. If you break your ankle, what happens? It hurts! Imagine what would happen if those symptoms weren’t there. We’d walk around, work, go dancing and do other activities on that broken ankle until some permanent damage is done. Your body is telling you something is wrong, fix it.
Sometimes, if the symptoms are life-threatening, they need to be dealt with immediately. Most of the time though, a better approach would be to find the cause of the symptom and eliminate it. Logic dictates that eliminating the cause will in turn eliminate the symptom as well. Treating ONLY the symptom, is like having your check engine light come on in your car and having the technician spray some black paint to cover up the light. Symptoms are not a good measurement of health. A splinter can create a lot of pain, yet it is rarely very serious. On the other hand, cancer can be festering in someone’s body for years and not even produce symptoms until stage 3 or 4.
When someone comes into our office, we take a case history, conduct a thorough consultation and perform a detailed chiropractic examination. Once we determine if the symptoms are not life-threatening, we proceed with x-rays if they are necessary. Chiropractic adjustments are then started accordingly. At this point, it is our goal to shift the focus away from the symptoms and direct them toward restoring nerve function. The major unfound cause, especially in chronic dis-ease of decreased function of the nervous system is VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION. With time and repetition of chiropractic adjustments to VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS, we find a restoration in the function of the nervous system leading to an improvement of the overall health of the individual.