While chiropractic care for headaches in the general population can be a topic of discussion, many parents do not realize their children may also be in need of a headache chiropractor. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, between 30 percent and 40 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 15 have at least one headache per week, with between 66 percent and 71 percent having at least one headache every three months. The severity of these headaches may fluctuate, but a chiropractor can help with any level of headache pain.
The facts on migraines in children
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 10 percent of children suffer from migraines, and half of all sufferers experience their first migraine before the age of 12. Medical professionals believe migraines to be hereditary, with 90 percent of people who experience migraines having a family history of them— If you have migraines, your child is also at risk if he or she is not already experiencing them.
Even if only one parent gets migraines, there is already a 50 percent chance of the child inheriting them. Migraines usually include other symptoms like visual anomalies, nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, sensitivity to smells and possible numbness other places in the body.
All of these symptoms combined and even individually make it hard for children to concentrate on schoolwork and may cause school absence and a drop in grades.
The facts on other types of headaches in children
Tension headaches are the most common type of a headache experienced by children. They typically begin between the age of 9 and 12 years. Tension headaches usually grow in intensity gradually and hurt on both sides of the child’s head. Pain may resemble a band tightening around the head.
Tension headaches may include discomfort and tightness in the neck and shoulders as well. Cluster headaches also occur in children and typically start after the age of 10 years. They are more common in male adolescents and usually involve severe one-sided pain, often behind the eye.
Risk factors for headaches in children
Headaches in children include many risk factors, starting with family history. Anxiety, depression, drug use, smoking and bullying are other common contributors that we can change in order to provide some relief. Low levels of physical activity, little leisure time and poor posture are additional risk factors for headaches and children. Our headache chiropractor can help to treat these issues.
Headache treatment for children
Chiropractors may reduce headaches in children by providing specific spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Recommendations on exercise and stretching may also be a part of a treatment plan to reduce headaches. An examination will be necessary before any treatment in order to pinpoint an exact diagnosis.
From this headache diagnosis, we can determine the cause of the headaches and personalize the treatment plan for the child. A drug-free approach will be necessary before any medications are prescribed to first see how the child fares with natural treatment.
Visit our office
To learn more about headaches in children, how you can help as a parent and how a headache chiropractor can provide your child with relief, schedule an appointment with our office today.