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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

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Understanding Headache -- Treatment

Chiropractic and Osteopathy to Treat Headaches

Bad posture leading to muscle strain can cause tension headaches. A chiropractor may be able to ease the strain by spinal or cervical manipulation and realignment.

Osteopaths believe headache pain stemming from pressure on nerves or blood vessels can be eased by neuromuscular manipulation and soft-tissue massage of your head, neck, and upper back.


Biofeedback and Relaxation and Headache Control

Biofeedback and relaxation techniques are highly effective for headache relief. Their use is endorsed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback helps you control how specific muscle groups react to stress. This can prevent or relieve tension headaches. EMG biofeedback succeeds more often in curing headaches caused by tension than either medical or psychological treatment.


Acupuncture for Headaches

The NIH considers acupuncture useful for treating headache.

Headaches and Mind-Body Medicine

Hypnosis, deep breathing, visualization, meditation, and yoga may provide relief from pain by relieving system-wide stress and tension. The NIH considers hypnosis effective as a treatment for tension headaches. Hypnosis may lower your perception of pain.

Cognitive behavioral therapy mixes meditation and relaxation with education in coping skills, motivation, and behavior. With the help of a psychotherapist you can learn to change negative thoughts and attitudes, modify the way you respond to stress, and possibly avoid tension headaches.


Botox for Headaches

Botox, widely known for use as a cosmetic agent, has been FDA approved to prevent chronic migraine headache in adults. The agency defines chronic headache as having a migraine headache 15 or more days per month with headaches lasting four hours a day or longer. To treat chronic migraine headache, Botox is given about every three months as multiple injections around the head and neck. It has not been shown to work for less frequent headaches or other forms of headache. 




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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on March 30, 2013

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