Headaches and migraines are 2 of the problems most commonly treated by acupuncture. According to the World Health Organization, it has been estimated that prevalence among adults of current headache disorder (symptomatic at least once within the last year) is about 50%. Half to three quarters of adults aged 18–65 years in the world have had headache in the last year and, among those individuals, 30% or more have reported migraines. There is no shortage of suffering or quality of life lost to headaches.
Headaches are generally felt when various structures of the head or neck are inflamed or irritated. These areas include:
- muscles and skin of the head
- nerves of the head and neck
- arteries leading to the brain
- membranes of the ear, nose and throat
- sinuses cavities
The sensation of pain may originate in one area and refer the feeling of pain to an area nearby. An example of this is a headache arising from a tense neck.
Can acupuncture help your headache? It depends on the cause. Some of the causes of headache that acupuncture CAN help include:
- muscular tension
- dental or jaw problems
- eye problems
- hormonal influences
- disorders of the ear, nose or throat
- disorders of the nervous system
- injury to the head, neck or spine
- poor posture – puts unnecessary strain on the muscles of the back and neck
There are other causes of headache that acupuncture is less successful for. These include side-effects of medications, meningitis, hypertension, poor diet, and dehydration.
Tension headache is the most common type of headache. Two out of three people will have at least one tension headache in their lifetime. This feels like a tight band of pressure around the head, and often involves muscle tightness in the head, neck or jaw. It is usually caused by physical or emotional stress.
Acupuncture is great for treating tension headaches! The treatment involves finding areas of stress and tension within the neck and head, treating them with acupuncture and acupressure, and recommending postural or dietary changes if necessary. If you are suffering headaches, give us a call and find out if we can help you today!