There are several types of headaches. Tension headaches are the most common headache. Posture demands and less than ideal ergonomics on the cervical spine change the tension in the muscles and can stimulate tension headaches.
Tension headaches first thing in the morning, usually in the temple region or sides of head, can often be from Temporal Mandibular Joint issues such as clenching of the teeth or grinding of teeth at night while sleeping. Use of a bite guard, created by your specially trained dentist, may decrease the impact from the clenching or grinding. Sometimes orthodontics are needed to correct the teeth alignment, and on occasion, an occlusal adjustment may be needed.
TMJ induced tension headaches impact the cervical spine as well. The TMJ coordinates motion with the upper cervical bones and muscles in the neck and vice versa. Dysfunction at either site can impact the other. Whiplash injuries often stimulate changes in the TMJ or cervical spine. These injuries are often overlooked, or present a few weeks or months after the injury.
Chiropractic adjustments can help address both the cervical spine dysfunction and TMJ dysfunction (when TMJ dysfunction is due to joint misalignment).
Here is a sample video on TMJ mechanics and options a dentist with advanced training might suggest. We do not offer this type of care at Aligned Chiropractic, this is simply for educational purposes on TMJ tension headaches:
Cluster headaches-these headaches occur in clusters which may be for a few days or weeks once every few months or years. The pain is usually very intense, and around or behind one eye. Depending on the cause of this type of headache, chiropractic adjustments may be able to decrease the frequency or intensity of the migraine.
Migraine headaches-these headaches can be more challenging to treat with conservative chiropractic care. Some cases respond to chiropractic care with a decrease in frequency, duration or intensity. Some cases are not impacted at all. The cause of migraine headaches is hard to determine, thus treatment options must be very specialized to the individual patient.