Headaches

Chronic headaches and migraines afflict many Americans.  The often debilitating pain affects their families and jobs.  The primary causes are structural (spinal nerves and muscles), chemical (hormones, allergies and blood sugar) and emotional (muscle tension and stress hormones).  The most common approach to relieve a headache is OTC pain relievers.  This is ok for the occasional headache but, when you need to take pain relievers often, a better solution is due.  To effectively treat the headache, there must be an accurate diagnosis.  Dr. Ehle\'s approach is to try to find the source of the headache, and to use natural solutions for a more permanent resolution.  A neck adjustment, aligning the vertebra in the neck and upper back, relieves most headaches.  However, the muscles and tissues of the neck and shoulders can develop \'trigger points\' from long term stress and trauma.  Trigger points are nodules that develop in a muscle, and can be extremely painful.  Trigger points can refer pain up into the head and neck causing debilitating headaches.  Acupuncture and massage do a fantastic job at resolving headaches from trigger points.  Headaches of chemical origin need to be assessed to determine if it is a deficiency (too little of something) or a toxicity (too much of a substance... often self inflicted).  Stress related headaches require assessing the source of the stress.  Stress has two main sources:  1) How we respond to the various situations/surroundings we find ourselves in, and 2) chemical stress resulting from our choices of foods, our environment, and how our immune system responds to the chemical stressors.  With a thorough history and physical exam, including a neuromuscular response (NMR) exam which challenges the body with various chemical/hormone/food stressors, Dr. Ehle is often able to identify the offending chemical stressor that is producing the headache, and can then provide a more complete solution.