Research and statistics indicate that headaches cause the loss of over 25 billion dollars each year in United States since frequent and episodic headaches are one of the most common causes of absence from work and low productivity. There are various types of headaches and the management of each type varies according to the patho-physiological factors. Although mild and infrequent headaches (one episode a month or less that responds to over the counter pain relievers) are considered normal; however if your headache episodes are unprovoked and are occurring at frequent intervals (two or more per week), they are not responsive to over the counter analgesics and rest and they are not associated with other features like dizziness, fatigue and lightheadedness, you may benefit from chiropractic therapy.
The prevalence of tension headaches is very high (approximately 78% of all the headaches are tension type) that are characterized by a constricting type of pain that starts from the back of head and involves neck and scalp. Researchers and investigators have been working for years to ascertain the exact cause of tension headaches. Extensive research indicates that they could be due to changes in the biochemical environment of brain due to alterations in the secretion of some neurotransmitters, improper posture and wear and tear changes in the bones affect muscular activity (tightening or contraction of muscles affect the blood supply to brain and/or teeth clenching which increases the pressure on the tempo-mandibular joint leading to irritation and damage to joint. TMJ irritation is another leading cause of tension headaches and is reported frequently in individuals with sleep disorders.
Women are at higher risk of developing tension headaches when compared to men. Advancing age and sudden/ abrupt changes in the biochemical environment of the body also increases the risk of tension headaches. Changes in the concentration of estrogen (just before menstruation or during peri- menopausal years) the risk of tension headaches increase tremendously. Also, chronic and excessive stress, sleep disorders and drug abuse are also strong risk factors that are associated with tension headaches.