By Dr. Rick Morris
Sherri, a 38-year-old stay at home mom, had severe headaches her entire life. She had to endure them four or more times per week and most made her head feel as if it “was going to blow off” her shoulders. It stressed everything in her life, even taking care of the daily needs of her child.
Over the last 30 years, she had seen countless doctors, yet they found “nothing wrong.” She had been in the hospital, tried several treatments and was even told that she might have to “just live with it.”
She had never been to a chiropractor before and was “a bit nervous,” but was dragged into our office by her friend who assured her that she wouldn’t be hurt. Nearly a year after she started treatment she wrote us a letter saying “After my second adjustment, I was able to turn my head (instead of turning my entire body). It was amazing, it really worked.” “I haven’t had a severe headache in 7 or 8 months.”
What went wrong…not just with her body, but also with our healthcare system? Why was she given so many ineffective and even dangerous treatments? In effect, she was told that everything possible had been tried. Why is a less effective and more dangerous treatment recommended in place of one that is safer and more effective especially when many medical journals and research organization like Rand Corporation have reported this?
The answer may lie in the numbers. The International Headache Society’s (IHS) classified 129 different categories of headaches. Further compounding the problem, there are over 20 different specialists that treat this condition. Each specialty knows their approach to treatment, but if your type of headache falls outside of their scope, it is often ignored or even belittled. Unfortunately it leaves the headache sufferer to search for his own answers, often in defiance of their primary care doctor. Many headache sufferers know just what I’m talking about.
If you fall off your bike, hit your head, and start vomiting, we all know to go immediately to an E.R. If you have a headache that started with a fever, altered consciousness and a rash--then your best choice is probably your internist. But, if your headaches are not associated with a fever, a significant, direct head trauma or a loss of consciousness--please see us right away.