HEADACHE SPECIALIST SINGAPORE | MIGRAINE SPECIALIST SINGAPORE
Do you frequently experience headaches and migraines? Vitality Chiropractic uses specialist techniques to help you relieve tension that you feel around your head to get you feeling better.
WHAT ARE HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES?
Headache Disorders Symptoms
Despite the fact that millions of people complain of headaches every year, many healthcare practitioners consider headaches and migraine symptoms as minor issues.
However, if you’ve had a severe headache or chronic migraine before, you know how disabling the pain can be. Such headache disorders even have the potential to impact work, hobbies, relationships and finances!
A headache can occur in the front, back or sides of the head. They can be more one-sided, bilateral or be felt all over. Additionally, there may be associated symptoms into the neck, shoulders and arms, or even into the face, ears and eyes. Other symptoms may include fatigue, vomiting, nausea, visual and concentration problems, tingling or numbness into the arms, neck ache and depression.
These common types of headaches are usually treated with painkillers:
- cluster headache
- tension headaches
- cervicogenic headaches
- sinus headaches
(Read about How Our Approach is Different).
These painful headaches may stem from a myriad of different causes, from physical issues such as injury or accident to daily lifestyle habits.
Migraines are a form of a headache but are much less common. There is usually a throbbing pain on one side of the head and can be of severe intensity. Other symptoms of a migraine include:
- Visual disturbances
- Sensitivity to light, sound or smell
- Auras (blind spots, flashing lights, dizziness and tingling in the hands or face – Read more about Aura, here).
Many people may experience mild pain in their head at some point in their lives. But for others, they experience intense pain in the back of their heads due to many trigger factors such as stress, lifestyle, or even family history. This pain is normally associated with a headache. However, there is also another type of headache called ‘migraine’ where the intensity of pain is very different.
Due to the throbbing or pulsing pressure felt in the head, early medical researchers believed a chronic migraine was due to high blood pressure or other vascular (blood flow) problems. Thus, prescribing medication became the primary treatment for the blood vessels and block the pain signals.
However, medication only provides short-term pain relief. It does not actually solve nor prevent chronic migraines.
WHAT TRIGGERS HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES?
There can be a number of factors that trigger a headache or migraine attack. One common trigger between headaches and migraines is stress.
Stress plays a big factor for most headache and migraine sufferers. When stressed, the brain needs to work harder to achieve mental and emotional tasks. With this reduced capacity, the brain loses the ability to maintain the body in a healthy balance, including regulation of the muscles and proper nerve function.
Other than stress, headaches and migraines can be triggered by vastly different causes. This may help you determine what’s the next best course of action.
Common Triggers for Headache
- Moving the head quickly can irritate the nerves, especially if there’s a misalignment (subluxation) present.
- This strains the neck and may lead to dizziness and vertigo. This can also cause neck stiffness, which in turn, triggers a headache.
- A lack of water and high consumption of alcohol can cause headaches.
- Known as a secondary headache, as the true source of the headache is the brain pulling away from the skull from a lack of liquid.
Lack of sleep
- Inadequate rest can weaken the immune system, thus affecting the body’s function to heal efficiently.
- Spending extended amounts of time sitting, standing or hunched forward can affect the neck and head.
- Poor posture causes the head to move forward, increasing the strain and irritating the nerves and muscles of the neck.
Common Triggers for Migraine
Food & drink
- Chocolate, cheese and other processed foods have been known to trigger migraine attacks.
- Alcohol and caffeinated drinks can also trigger an attack.
- Side effects from oral contraceptives and vasodilators (heart disease) can trigger a migraine.
- This can be worsened for those on other hormonal medications, such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
- A change in hormone level can trigger a menstrual migraine (characterised by a lack of aura and extreme pain that can start on one side of the forehead and travel to the other)
- This can develop any time during a menstrual cycle.
- Head and neck injuries can especially injure the nerves in the central nervous system
- Can be the trigger or source of a migraine attack.
MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES
As mentioned before, people can get confused between a headache and migraine because the symptoms appear similar to each other. To understand the differences, we must first look at the two types of headaches that occur.
- Primary: Not caused by another underlying disease or condition. Their causes can be linked to pressure on the nerves, blood vessels or muscles in the head and neck.
- Secondary: Linked to another disease or condition, where headaches are a symptom or by-product of that condition. These could be caused by the flu, alcohol, sinusitis, tumours, blood clots, concussion, glaucoma or medications.
Often, migraines are confused with tension-type headaches. A tension headache can be due to nerve irritation or muscle tightness, particularly around the neck and shoulders. Tension headaches typically stem from psychological triggers, such as stress or anxiety, and a lack of sleep or other causes for increased fatigue.
The symptoms of migraines and cervicogenic headaches are also particularly similar as they both have proven neurological origins. Both can be unilateral (one-sided) and have nausea, vomiting and effects on eyesight.
However, do note the symptoms of hemiplegic migraines. If these symptoms are present, please see a doctor immediately:
- mimics the symptoms of a stroke
- slurred speech
- loss of the use of one half of the body
- Once a stroke has been ruled out, it can be treated like other forms of migraines.
HOW ARE HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis for headaches will first include a medical history and physical examination. This is to help triage the possible type of headache and exclude serious pathologies, such as tumours.
Depending on whether suspected to be primary or secondary, the tests will vary. These may include:
- CT scans
- Blood work
- Nerve scans
On the other hand, while migraines are a well-established condition, there are no definitive tests for a proper diagnosis of migraines in medicine. Thus, your primary care doctor may include CT or MRI scans instead to exclude a serious underlying problem, like stroke or a tumour.
However, the majority of the diagnosis is made from the history conducted by the doctor.
They seek to understand your experiences and symptoms (such as flickering lights and nausea), but there is no definitive gold standard. Existing research indicates that nerve irritation in the neck and brain stem is the true cause, with the trigeminal nerve nerve being a clinically indicated connected nerve.
At Vitality Chiropractic, we perform x-ray and nerve scans that are unique in Singapore.
This allows us to assess the condition of your upper neck to check for any presence of Subluxation. The tests also help us detect any undiscovered nerve problems which may be contributing to your frequent attacks and constant pain.
Based on our findings, we devise a comprehensive treatment plan dedicated to your specific case. With Vitality’s help treating headaches, our patients finally get to experience long-term pain relief after YEARS of steady pain, with no medications prescribed.
We can help you Take Your Life Back.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES IN SINGAPORE?
Treatment for headaches on the back of the head, front or sides are primarily painkillers and muscle relaxants, counselling, pain management and even electronic medical devices.
Similar to headaches, the current treatment for migraines is medication. However, the form of medication has changed over the years.
Previously the appropriate medication was focused on vascular/blood vessels, such as blood pressure-lowering beta-blockers. Now medical doctors prescribe medication to deal with the nerves and associated tight muscles, including:
- Pain relievers, such as triptans and opioids
- Anti-seizure medication
- Anti-nausea medication
- Botox injections
- Antibody injections
Other treatments by holistic practitioners also suggest meditation, exercise, a regular sleep routine and drinking more water. These methods can be more helpful long term than medication, which may only numb the symptoms momentarily. However, the latest research shows that all these methods only provide short-term relief and doesn’t address the underlying cause.
In fact, people chronically using painkillers experience more painful headaches and migraine attacks in the future. Analysis has revealed that the cause is often problems in the upper neck, irritating the nerves that supply information to the head, neck and face.
At Vitality Chiropractic Centres, we find that the Upper Cervical Chiropractic technique has especially good success with treating chronic headaches. That’s because our care takes care of the root problem directly, rather than focusing on the symptoms. After our techniques patients reported decreasing reliance on painkillers, allowing them to return to normal activities without any pain!
HOW DOES CHIROPRACTIC TREAT HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE ATTACKS?
General chiropractors tend to focus on the nerve system. Meanwhile, Upper Cervical specific Chiropractors specialise in the bones in the top part of the neck, known as the Occiput, Atlas and Axis. This is the location of the Atlanto-Occipital Articulation, as mentioned above, where Subluxation takes place.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care focuses on the top part of the neck where the brainstem is positioned (C1 and C2). This eliminates the associated neurological problems without relying on medication. Our care has been shown to effectively reduce and eliminate the re-occurrence of headaches and migraines, including hemiplegic migraines.
FUN FACT: Studies have shown that over 90% of headache and migraine sufferers find a solution with Upper Cervical Chiropractic care!
VITALITY CHIROPRACTIC: HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE SPECIALIST IN SINGAPORE
At Vitality Chiropractic we specialise in the upper neck, with a proven history of helping patients upwards of 20 years of headaches!
We are the first to bring this technique to South East Asia and the only clinic to do so in Singapore.
We use specialised equipment to scan the nerve system at every appointment, such as unique computed infrared thermography nerves scans and biomechanical x-rays to accurately diagnose the problem and provide treatment for headaches and migraines, thus giving our patients faster, effective and long-lasting results.
Our doctor of Chiropractic, Dr Shaan has undertaken additional post-graduate training in Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, has years of experience and has a history of helping patients to treat headaches and migraines.
Ready to give yourself relief from those migraine and headache disorders you’ve been suffering from?
Contact us now and let our chiropractor restore your health and life back.
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