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Most ancient civilizations attributed any sort of illness or disorder to hostile powers. They believed that angry gods or evil spirits caused pain and sickness.

For those who suffer from headaches on a regular basis, it’s easy to see how early cultures came to this conclusion. Headaches are debilitating on many levels; they can make virtually any activity painful or even impossible.

I worry a lot about patients with headaches, and hope that they understand that holistic treatment options are not only effective, but also much safer than pharmaceutical treatment.

I know that many headache sufferers rely on over-the-counter and prescription pain medications to relieve their pain. The most common drugs for headaches are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include Advil or Aleve.

These medications can be pretty effective and appear to be fairly innocuous—until you learn that NSAIDs damage the gastrointestinal tract and alter kidney function. In fact, NSAIDs are a major cause of death in this country; they are the fifteenth most common cause of death in the United States.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They may be caused by anxiety or depression, and stem from tightness in the muscles of the shoulders, neck, or jaw. Other types of headaches are migraines, cluster headaches, and headaches caused by sinus problems.

Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center and Headaches

The good news is, headaches can be relieved with a holistic, healthy, and drug-free approach. Our Red Bank chiropractic facility employs a number of strategies for reducing headaches. Your individualized headache reduction plan may include the following:

Chiropractic: Chiropractic care is extremely successful in treating all types of headaches. Misalignments of the cervical (neck) spine can irritate the nerves of the spine that travel to and from the brain. Chiropractic works to realign the vertebrae of the spine in order to remove pressure against inflamed nerves and relieve pain.

Acupuncture: Chinese medicine is based on the principle that all pain is blocked Qi (life energy). Headaches can be caused when the flow of Qi becomes unbalanced. With acupuncture, a reduction in pain can be attributed to the release of endorphins that occurs during treatment. Endorphins act as natural, healthy painkillers. Acupuncture is painless, safe, and has no side effects.

Massage Therapy: Many types of headaches are caused or exacerbated by stress. The deep tissue massage used at Monmouth Spine and Rehabilitation Center is a healthy treatment for relieving stress and anxiety. Deep tissue massage is instrumental in the release of muscle tension and chronic knots (known as adhesions) that are a part of the cycle of stress and pain. Studies also suggest that deep tissue massage may increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that may be helpful in reducing pain and improving overall mood.

If you are interested in learning more about effective headache treatments that do not include the use of drugs, please contact our Monmouth County, NJ office.