Chiropractic

Chiropractic combined with acupuncture

Many people with acute back pain, headaches and neck pain seek help from a chiropractor. These practitioners are trained in hands-on manipulation, adjusting bones to restore mobility of your joints. At SOMA, our chiropractor incorporates acupuncture into his treatment of your muscle sprains, sports injuries and the pain caused by sudden injuries and accidents. This produces more effective and long lasting pain relief.

Migraines & Headaches

All migraines are headaches. However, only about 7% of headaches are migraines. The onset of a migraine is signaled when you see flashes of lights—called an aura. This is followed by an extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and possibly vomiting. Migraines last from 4—24 hours, and range in severity from painful to absolutely debilitating. Current treatment includes resting in a dark, quiet room and sleeping.

About 90% of non-migraine headaches may be triggered by muscle tension and muscle contraction caused by a variety of reasons including stress.

Many headache and migraine sufferers are surprised to learn that chronic stress plays a key role in triggering their pain. Stress is something that you can try to control through a variety of methods including acupuncture, massage, diet and a healthy lifestyle. Implementing these stress reduction techniques not only will help you feel better overall, but may also be instrumental in reducing headaches and migraines. At SOMA Pain Management Center we incorporate a variety of methods to create a treatment plan which will help you.

Practicing a healthy lifestyle

Sometimes we forget about the basics: exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet. Every parent tries to follow these guidelines in raising their child, but as busy adults we don’t have time to give our body what it needs. It is important to practice the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle and be able to relax, to reduce stress.

Acupuncture to reduce stress and muscle contraction

An ancient Chinese technique, acupuncture is the insertion of very thin needles into specific points of the body to redirect “chi”, our life energy. One belief is that migraine and headache pain develops when the natural flow of chi is interrupted. Through acupuncture in the proper points on the body, the natural flow of chi can be restored, reducing the trigger for headache and migraine pain.

At SOMA Pain Management Center, we have successfully used acupuncture in treating migraine and muscle contraction headaches. In muscle contraction headaches, pain is localized to one or more parts of the head. Trigger points in neck muscles develop after some form of physical trauma or stress. These trigger points in the upper neck muscles often trigger pain along one side of the head. These contracted neck muscles are tied to pain in specific areas, including behind the ear, over the eye and on top of the head.

Studies show that acupuncture causes the release of pain reducing endorphins, and may stimulate the brain to release other hormones which strengthen the body’s immune response. The World Health Organization recognizes more than 30 conditions and diseases which can be helped by acupuncture, from allergies to tennis elbow. In 1997, the National Institute of Health’s “Consensus Statement on Acupuncture” wrote that acupuncture was useful as an additional treatment or acceptable alternative to be used in a comprehensive pain management program for conditions including headache, lower back pain, menstrual cramps and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Massage and acupressure to relieve muscle spasm and pain

Acupressure (applying pressure to specific points on the body) and massage are effective in controlling the muscle spasm and muscle contraction that may trigger headaches and migraines. Massage of the back of the head, neck and shoulders reduces the tightness in those muscles and increases blood flow.

Changing what you eat to reduce headaches and migraines

Do you develop a headache after drinking red wine? If yes, you’re not alone. Surprisingly, some foods may trigger headaches in certain people, especially if combined with other triggers such as fatigue, sleep deprivation and stress. Common culprits are citrus fruit, aged cheese, chocolate and red wine. The best way to find out what triggers your headache is to keep a food diary and write down everything that you eat and drink. In this way you can detect a pattern and learn which foods to avoid.

Some studies show a significant decrease in migraine headaches when you reduce dietary fat consumption, consuming healthy omega-3 fatty acids instead. Other potentially helpful supplements are melatonin and co-enzyme Q10, but there are as yet no definitive studies about their effectiveness.

At Soma Pain Management Center we use a multi-disciplinary approach to treat headaches and musculoskeletal pain. In our 20 years of experience we have found that a combination of acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and chiropractic adjustments are extremely effective at alleviating most pain.

After pain therapy, each patient is instructed to begin a stretching and muscle strengthening program. By becoming stronger and more flexible, most patients can minimize pain and future doctor visits.

Questions? Contact Dr. Mark Sobor at: drsobor@somamedchicago.com.