Snowshoeing and Headaches

Are you one of the millions of people around the world who are experiencing headaches? Presently, nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. There are headaches that are felt occasionally. There are those felt frequently. Some cause intense pain and nausea while others are just dull and aching. Can you think of any alternative treatment for your headaches? Will you just rest and wait for the pain to go away? Will you pop in pills for pain and wait for the effect to set it? Thankfully, there is a conservative and efficient option.

There are various triggers that can cause headaches. These include lifestyle and behaviors such as intense physical activities or exercise, lack of sleep, and blood sugar changes. Food and surrounding stimuli like irritating noise, lights and stressful moments are also included. Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches such as tension, cluster, or migraine headaches. Barely 5 percent of headaches are due to other conditions.

Chiropractors believe that majority of headaches originate from the neck. Presently, many spend many hours working or sitting in front of a desk which often results to hours of rigid posture or position. This can cause tension of the muscles in the neck, upper back, and scalp resulting to headache. The pain that originates in the neck can be due to various causes.

Stress is considered the root of most headaches. It causes the ligaments and muscles located in the neck to tighten. The vertebrae may be placed out of the normal alignment. Consequently, the blood vessels and nerve fibers that are connected towards your head may get inflamed.

Poor and wrong posture can also cause head and neck pain. The head and spine has a natural alignment that provides adequate support to the body. However, many individuals have a tendency to lean forward when they are looking at a computer or TV screen, driving, or carrying a fully packed backpack. Every time a person leans forward, the head (which weighs about 12 to 15 pounds) places strain on the back muscles which may cause misalignments in the spine.

There are many signs that can suggest that your headache originates in your neck. The headaches may be felt regularly with different length and scale of pain. Next, the headache may be preceded by pain in the shoulders or neck. Then, the pain may be felt only on one side of the head. Lastly, if you had a previous neck injury such as whiplash, then you can consider that your headache originates in your neck.

Clinical studies prove that manual manipulation of the spine (the core technique used by Doctors of Chiropractic) can be successful in treating headaches that originate in the neck. A study in 2001 discovered that chiropractic care provided instant improvement for headaches after a few sessions. Furthermore, this drug-free conservative option had lesser unfavorable side effects and presented efficient headache relief than having medication therapy.

Immediately provide relief from that aching head! Chiropractors can instruct you on how to use acupressure for brief headache relief. Using a circular motion, gently massage at the bottom of the bones at the back of your ears. Pinch the skin just above your nose and push up so you feel pressure at eyebrow level. With your thumb and index finger, press the plump pad between thumb and index finger on the palm of your other hand.  When this doesn’t work make an appointment and let’s find the underlying cause of your headaches.

Dr. Paul Burns is a Chiropractor specializing in pain management and sports injuries.  He has worked with many college and pro teams, including the Denver Broncos, the ATP and Wrangler Sports.  His multidisciplinary practice is located in the Denver Tech Center and offers the latest in evidenced based practice methodology, techniques and technology.

For more information, visit and/or call 303-694-9759.

About the author

Dr. Paul Burns

Dr. Paul Burns is a Chiropractor specializing in pain management and sports injuries. He has worked with many college and pro teams, including the Denver Broncos, the ATP, and Wrangler Sports. His multidisciplinary practice is located in Englewood, CO, and offers the latest evidence-based practice methodology, techniques, and technology. For more information, visit

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