Of course, chiropractic medicine focuses on the spine, but chiropractic techniques can treat much more than simply back pain. Most of the body’s major nerves run through the spine, so spinal manipulation can actually be used to treat a variety of non-back problems. Additionally, a professional chiropractor can provide manipulation to other body areas to directly address local issues and pain.
The head is one such area. Problems with different regions of the skull are all too common. Here are just four that can relieved by a skilled chiropractor.
Naturally, the most frequent head complaints are headaches, known medically as cephalgia. They come in many forms and are caused by a multitude of factors. One of the most painful and debilitating type is the migraine headache.
Migraine headaches are chronic and usually last over four hours. They may be accompanied by sensitivity to sound and/or light. Victims often must take strong medications just to stave off the onset of migraines. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment can help. In fact, one study showed improvement in 90% of migraine patients with appropriate chiropractic manipulation of the upper spine.
Another common type of headache is the rear headache, or occipital neuralgia, felt in the back of the head. These headaches are particularly troublesome as they can interfere with turning the head or looking up and down. There are two main causes – referred pain from the neck muscles and irritation of the cervical nerves.
Both of these causes can be effectively addressed by chiropractic adjustment. Irritated spinal nerves are soothed when subluxations, or small dislocations in the spine, are corrected. Furthermore, the muscles of the neck also relax when subluxations are fixed, unclenching and allowing aches in the back of the head to dissipate.
Ear infections also come in several types – infections of the outer, middle, or inner ear. In almost all cases they are caused by bacterial growth in part of the ear canal. They’re especially common in young children.
Chiropractic treatment can be very helpful to those plagued by constant ear infections. The skull is not a single, solid bone, but is made up of numerous pieces joined together. Expert manipulation of these joints can aid in opening the ear canals and allowing proper drainage. This prevents the pooling of water and other fluids and removes a breeding ground for bacteria.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is simply the jaw joint, where the mandible, or jaw bone, attaches to the skull. Unfortunately, this joint is prone to many problems. It can be irritated by speaking, chewing, or the grinding of teeth during sleep. When there is a dysfunction of the TMJ, normal daily activities can become painful and frustrating.
Chiropractic medicine offers a non-surgical alternative to TMJ difficulties. By gentle manipulation, the TMJ can be reset and realigned into its proper position. This results in reduced pain and a return to normal speaking ability and a regular diet.