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Our goal is always to find a drug free solution to any type of headache you suffer from.

An overview of headaches:

A tension headache is the most common headache, and all headaches are not well understood. Many headaches generally produces a diffuse, usually mild to moderate pain over your head. Many people liken the feeling to having a tight band around their head. Some headaches may also cause pain in the back of your neck at the base of your skull.

Although headache pain sometimes can be severe, in most cases it’s not the result of an underlying disease. The vast majority of headaches are so-called primary headaches. Besides tension headaches, these include migraines, sinus, and cluster headaches.

In many cases, there’s no clear cause for most types of headaches. Fortunately, effective treatments for headaches are available. Managing different types of headaches is often a balance between fostering healthy habits, finding effective chiropractic treatments, and using medications sparingly. In addition, a number of preventive, self-care, and alternative treatments may help you deal with headache pain.


Many headaches can last from 30 minutes to an entire week. You may experience these headaches occasionally, or nearly all the time. If your headaches occur 15 or more days a month for several months, they’re considered chronic. Unfortunately, chronic headaches sometimes persist for years.

Some headaches may cause you to experience a dull, achy pain or sensation of tightness in your forehead or at the sides and back of your head. Many people liken the feeling to having a tight band of pressure encircling their heads. In its most extensive form, the pain feels like a hooded cape that drapes down over the shoulders. The headache is usually described as mild to moderately intense. The severity of the pain varies from one person to another, and from one headache to another in the same person. Many people report that the pain starts first thing in the morning or late in the day when work stress or conflict at home is anticipated.

Some people with severe headaches experience neck or jaw discomfort. There may also be:

  • Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating

Unlike some forms of migraine, other types of headache usually are not associated with visual disturbances (blind spots or flashing lights), nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, or slurred speech. While physical activity typically aggravates migraine pain, it doesn’t make tension headache pain any worse. A few people with tension headaches experience an increased sensitivity to light or sound, but this isn’t a common symptom.


Experts continue to debate the causes and even the name of each type of headache. Over the years, as different theories emerged about the origins of each type of headache, it was known by names such as muscle contraction headache, psychogenic headache, depressive headache, essential headache and ordinary headache.

The exact cause or causes of most headaches are unknown. Until a few years ago, many researchers believed that the pain of many headaches stemmed from muscle contraction in the face, neck and scalp, perhaps as a result of heightened emotions, tension or stress. But many researchers have questioned this idea.

More recent research discredits this theory. Studies using a test called an electromyogram, which records the electric currents generated by muscle activity, haven’t detected increased muscle tension in people diagnosed with tension headache. In addition, people with migraine headaches have as much muscle tension as do people with a tension headache, if not more.

As a result, The International Headache Society uses the term “tension-type headache” instead of “tension headache,” calling attention to the fact that muscle tension may not be the main cause of this kind of head pain. Chiropractors find that spinal subluxations may explain the reason for a majority of headache symptoms.

Chemical changes

Researchers now believe that some headaches may result from changes among certain brain chemicals serotonin, endorphins and numerous other chemicals that help nerves communicate. These are similar to biochemical changes associated with migraine. Although it’s not clear why the chemical levels fluctuate, the process is thought to activate pain pathways to the brain and to interfere with the brain’s ability to suppress the pain. On one hand, spinal subluxations which irritate nerves in the neck and scalp may contribute to a headache in someone with altered chemical levels. On the other hand, the tight muscles may be a result of these chemical changes which we can determine using Applied Kinesiology.

Because both tension headache and migraine involve similar changes in brain chemicals, some researchers believe that the two types of headache are related. Some experts speculate that migraine may develop from the regular occurrence of tension headache. The distinctive migraine features form as the pain becomes more severe. Other research suggests that mild migraine is in reality a type of tension headache.

Triggers and aggravators

There are many possible triggers of sinus, tension,cluster, and migrane headaches. You may have no identifiable or consistent trigger, or have several obvious ones. Potential triggers include:

  • Spinal Subluxations effect all types of headaches
  • Stress effects all types of headaches
  • Depression and anxiety (see homeopathy for help)
  • Lack of sleep or changes in sleep routine
  • Skipping meals, low blood sugar, and nutritional deficiencies (tension and migraine headaches)
  • Poor posture
  • Working in awkward positions or holding one position for a long time
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Occasionally, hormonal changes related to menstruation, pregnancy, menopause or hormone use (migraine and tension headaches)
  • Medications used for other conditions, such as depression or high blood pressure
  • Overuse of headache medication (all types of headaches are affected)
  • Allergies including food and air borne (especially sinus headaches and migraine).
  • Jaw pain and TMJ disorders (mostly cluster and tension type headaches)


Half the people with tension headache report that they felt stressed or hungry before their headache began.

Many headaches may be made worse by jaw pain (see TMJ) from clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism) or by head trauma, such as a blow to the head or whiplash injury. People with stiff joints and muscles due to arthritis of the neck or inflammation of the shoulder joints may develop any type of headache.


When to come see us:

If your headaches effect your daily life by affecting your abilities to work, sleep, spend time with family or enjoy your hobbies it’s time to see us. Dr. Snider has the experience to wade through the many causes of headaches, whether the headaches are sinus, cluster, tension, or migraine his solutions will attempt to reduce the frequency, duration and, intensity of all types of headaches and help your energy back and become medication free.

What we do for you:

  • Examine your spine for subluxation
  • Evaluate TMJ problems
  • Check nutritional needs
  • Check for allergies
  • Help reduce your stress
  • Contact us if you want more from your chiropractor, we offer a free consultation and spinal check for better health