Are Headaches Undertreated?


With all the different types of pain relievers available at the corner drug store, you’d think headache sufferers would have a solution to their problem. However, such is not the case and headaches continue to be a great burden on society. What’s more, it seems many doctors may even under-diagnose this common problem.


A 2008 study published in the British Journal of General Practice highlighted this widespread issue. The researchers studied over 91,000 adult patients who had recently reported a headache to their doctor. Amazingly, seventy percent of these patients were not given a diagnosis. It was suggested by the authors of the study that general medical physicians have difficulty in diagnosing headache presentations.


The spine is often overlooked as having the potential for causing a headache. Too often, headaches are thought to have their cause in the head. While this is where the pain is most prominent (as opposed to the neck), neck symptoms such as muscle tension, knots, and painful tissues also contribute to the pain picture. If your neck mobility is impaired, this can also be a indicator that the neck could be the source of your head pain. Sprains of the small vertebral joints can be enough to produce head pain and need to be addressed.


When the headache is thought to originate in the neck, it is called “cervicogenic.”


Neck problems have also been implicated in certain cases of tension-type, as well as migraine headaches, but how this occurs exactly is still being investigated.


Whatever their cause, headaches have a devastating impact on our quality of life and need to be effectively treated. Chiropractic care has been shown in several studies to reduce headache pain and is an important non-drug option for patients.

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