An attempt to manage neck pain and headaches has many in Kingwood turning to chiropractic care for relief. As society becomes increasingly obsessed with all things technology and individuals are continuously looking down at their smart devices, chiropractor offices nationwide are seeing an increase of patients complaining about discomfort or neck pain that is associated headaches. With the help of a professional, there are things those people suffering with this type of pain may be able to do to help relieve some of the tension without depending on medication.
How A Chiropractor Determines If Neck Pain is Related to a Patient’s Headaches
While neck pain and headaches can occur at the same time, it does not necessarily mean that one is related to the other. It is the chiropractor’s job to determine if a patient’s neck pain is directly related to their headaches or if there are two independent causes. Making this distinction is critical to treating a patient’s symptoms and crafting a proper treatment plan for that individual.
For a person experiencing neck and headache pain, they should generally expect the following when they visit the chiropractor:
- Patient History Review. This should be a narrative provided by the patient regarding any existing or ongoing health conditions, as well as prior accidents or injuries they have experienced in the past. The more detail a patient can provide during this conversation, the more equipped a chiropractor will be to help a patient.
- Lifestyle Overview. The daily choices people make can significantly impact their health, which is why it is essential that patients tell the chiropractor about everything from their daily activities to job responsibilities, nutrition, sleep habits, and any drug or alcohol use.
- Medical History Recap. This can differ from the previous points as it is geared specifically toward conditions such as vaccinations, allergies, and those that impact the respiratory, cardiovascular, ears/nose/throat, and other systems.
- Medication Review. It is critical to give the chiropractor a complete list of medications a person is currently taking as well as those they have taken in the past. Both timeframes could potentially have an impact on a patient’s current health status.
- Measurement of Vitals. This is typically done to establish a baseline for comparison to future visits and usually includes taking a patient’s weight, height, temperature, pulse, and blood pressure.
After evaluating the patient narrative and vitals, a chiropractor typically proceeds to a physical examination. This allows a professional to gather more information about the severity of symptoms the patient is experiencing, possible radiation of pain from original points of pain, if certain activities or bodily positions intensify the pain, and if a specific time of the day influences the severity of the pain.
The chiropractor will also evaluate the person’s posture and gait, palpitate key muscles and trigger points, and listen for joint noise. Depending on the results of these findings, they may also order specific orthopedic tests, neurological tests, x-rays, or even blood tests.
Comprehensively, all of the above has the potential to give a chiropractor a much more complete picture of the suspected cause of neck pain and headaches and may also shed light on wether they are related or independent of each other.
Manage Neck Pain and Headaches with a Kingwood Chiropractor
After a thorough patient intake, physical examination, and any additional tests are evaluated, a Kingwood chiropractor can then make a diagnosis that dictates a specific treatment plan.
In order to manage neck pain and headaches with a chiropractor, they typically do not rely on the use of over the counter or prescription medication to treat neck pain and headaches. Their ultimate goal is to use one or more of the below manual therapies to address and potentially alleviate related pain:
- Drop table methods
- Manual traction
- Mobilization with stretching
- Modalities (may include heat/ice, vibration, ultrasound, electric stimulation, etc.)
- Soft tissue techniques
- Spinal manipulation (includes both thrust and non-thrust manipulation)
- Trigger point
In addition to these strategies a chiropractor may use in treating a patient’s condition, there are things people can do at home to enhance and optimize their in-office treatment plan. The way a patient cares for him or herself, can either hinder or facilitate treatment. By simply retraining themselves to sit, stand and walk with better posture, following a smart and well-rounded nutritional plan that reduces inflammation in the body, pursuing appropriate training exercises, and modifying daily activities as needed, a patient may contribute significantly to their own healing journey.
What Is the Timeline for Treatment?
Every patient is unique as is the pain they are experiencing and the cause of that pain. For this reason, there is no golden standard timeline for treatment to manage neck pain and headaches with a chiropractor.
The success of chiropractic treatment can depend on how long it takes to find the manual therapy that yields the biggest gain for the patient, as well as the person’s commitment to practicing better posture, exercising, eating right, and performing self-care.
The other factor of the success of a treatment can be how willing a patient is to push through the soreness of an initial treatment. It is not uncommon for a person to be sore or experience some discomfort after the first treatment, but it should lessen with time and additional sessions. In some cases, the chiropractor may choose to adjust the treatment plan if necessary.
Healing typically does not happen overnight and takes multiple sessions to reach the desired effect, whether it be the minimization of pain or the ability to get back to a certain daily activity or favorite pastime, such as golfing. A patient’s end goal for treatment can help dictate what their customized treatment plan will look like.
If you have questions about how to manage neck pain and headaches with a chiropractor, do not delay in making an appointment. See a licensed Kingwood chiropractor today and take back control of your health and your every day life.