Headaches & Migraines

Chiropractic Care for Headaches by Dr. Scott Swanson

Headache and Migraine Treatment in San Francisco

When a headache strikes, the pain is often instantaneous and debilitating. While most people treat aches and pains with medication, chiropractic care offers a noninvasive alternative to pills and surgery while also addressing the root cause of your tension headaches or migraines instead of just addressing the symptoms.

Dr. Swanson uses chiropractic therapy and other complementary modalities to help patients throughout San Francisco’s Mission District, SoMA and Hayes Valley neighborhoods find headache relief and reclaim a pain-free existence.

Natural Treatment for Headaches with Chiropractic Care

Nine out of ten Americans experience either regular or isolated headaches. Pain pills and the “grin and bear it” approach may help temporarily, but long-term relief requires more strategic action.

Chiropractor services for headaches and migraines get to the underlying cause by addressing triggers such as muscle tension, joint irritation, and skeletal misalignment. Through spinal manipulation and adjustments, Dr. Swanson can improve how your body functions, making it easier for you to work, play and live life to its fullest.

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Chiropractic Treatment for Migraines

According to the National Headache Foundation, headaches are the leading cause of missed time at school and work. That’s hardly surprising when more than 45 million Americans report suffering from either periodic or chronic headaches.

We’re surrounded by triggers; how we sit at our desks, the way we tilt our necks while reading or typing and clenching our jaws when we’re anxious or upset can all lead to headaches. Other factors such as dehydration, hormonal changes, food sensitivities, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep and medications may also play a role.

Chiropractic therapy can’t completely erase the risk factors behind headaches and migraines, but it can address the biggest contributor: muscle and joint tension in your neck, which irritates the nerves and restricts blood flow.

By helping your body work more efficiently, you’re also enabling it to cope better with occasional stressors like a Sunday morning hangover or a rough day at the office.

Headaches are generally classified by their symptoms. The most common types are:

– Tension headaches, which afflict the largest number of people and are characterized by a bilateral pressing or tightening pain.
– Migraine headaches, which cause an extreme unilateral throbbing pain, are often accompanied by nausea. Some migraines also cause ocular disturbances, called aura, which may include seeing flickering lights, zigzag lines, or spots. A migraine can last from several hours to several days, and occasionally even longer. Migraines are believed to have a genetic component, as they often run in families.
– Cluster headaches, which occur in a cycle or “cluster” and can last from a couple of weeks up to a couple of months. These periods are followed by long stretches of remission. Pain is usually concentrated on one side of the head.

Dr. Swanson’s chiropractic treatment plan always starts with a comprehensive examination to understand how your body is currently operating and identify potential causes of your headache pain.

Based on those findings, Dr. Swanson will make recommendations that could include chiropractic therapies designed to correct subluxations — misalignments in the cervical spine often linked to headaches and migraines. Suggested modalities and treatment approaches may include:

  • Manual manipulations and adjustments
  • Trigger-point stimulation
  • Myofascial release
  • Posture correction exercises
  • Acupressure
  • Ergonomic changes and daily stretching routines

This whole-body, whole-lifestyle approach to migraine management is designed to not just treat your pain today but to help prevent it in the future.