Headaches don't discriminate by age, gender, or ethnicity. Almost everyone has a headache occasionally, but for those who suffer from chronic headache pain, quality of life is impaired. Headaches have a big impact on school performance, workplace productivity, and enjoyment of day-to-day activities. Dr. Charles Martin brings relief to patients in the Richmond area with innovative options in headache treatments.
It is important to differentiate between "cause," "trigger," and "symptom." The underlying cause of headaches is a disruption in brain chemistry. The brain has no pain receptors, but an imbalance is felt in pain-sensitive structures surrounding it. Different sorts of triggers bring on each type of headache, and symptoms, the specific discomforts you feel, also vary.
- Tension headaches, sometimes called muscle contraction headaches are the most common type. Pain is a dull ache on both sides of the head, or feels like a band tightening across the forehead. Tension in the neck, shoulders, and back is the usual trigger.
- Migraines are a special breed of headache that produces moderate to severe throbbing, often on just one side of the head. Symptoms include sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, and nausea. Migraines may be triggered by foods, bright lights, or hormonal changes. They are quite common and can be incapacitating.
- Sinus headaches spread deep, constant pain through the forehead, cheekbones, and bridge of nose. Triggers are typically allergies or head colds, and symptoms include clogged ears and runny nose.
- Cluster headaches bring knife-sharp pain around one eye. Attacks occur regularly for several weeks, and then disappear for months. Triggers are not apparent, but young men are most susceptible.
- Rebound headaches occur in a small percentage of those who overuse pain relief medications, and are sometimes triggered by mental or physical exertion.
A fresh approach to treatment
Historically headache treatment consisted of using (and sometimes overusing) drug store analgesics. The next step was a visit to a physician for prescription pain medication that masked symptoms to a degree, but often carried debilitating side effects.
Dr. Martin takes a fresh approach to headache relief – on that is healthier, more natural, and very effective. Remember the imbalance in brain chemistry mentioned above? It is directly related to your bite and how it affects nerves when you chew. He uses this knowledge to tackle the cause of your headaches, rather than the symptoms.
He starts with careful review of your headache and pain management history. Then Dr. Martin makes a detailed analysis of your teeth, mouth, jaw, neck, and posture to evaluate range of motion and pain points. He designs a customized treatment plan that includes techniques like massage, ultrasound, cold laser therapy, microcurrent therapy, home exercises, and oral appliance therapy for bite realignment. He will work independently, or collaborate with your primary care physician. The results that can be achieved vary. These can range form a complete elimination of headaches to simply vast improvement. 80% of people get 80% better is a fair assessment of the effectiveness. These types of improvements can be life changing for the afflicted.
Your headache pain is as unique as you are. Individualized treatment liberates you from the pain so you can enjoy life again! Patients tell Dr Martin that they like the no needles, no narcotic drugs approach to care. Call Richmond Smile Center at 804-417-7203 to learn more about non-narcotic headache relief.
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