Some Headache Causes and Solutions

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Clear Lake City Chiropractor Comments: There are many people who frequently suffer from headaches, even on a daily basis.  Many feel this is “normal.”  In fact, when they come in for treatment, they may not even bring it up and only after asking if they have headaches, do they then discuss it, acting as if everyone has headaches.  Others are completely debilitated and can’t go to work, drive a car, or even leave the house due to the intense pain and pressure, as if their head might explode.

When patients come to my office, I’ve found it is very important to take a very thorough health and family history. Headache Causes

I find patients frequently tell me important clues to the cause of their headaches.  For example, if one of my patients indicates that she has had headaches, as long as she could remember and the family history includes her mother having headaches that were debilitating and an MRI revealed that part of her brain stem extended down into the upper part of the neck, this would prompt an MRI of the patient which could reveal a similar finding.  Another example is a patient with headaches that occur only at the time of one week prior to menstruation.  This may lead to the trial of several nutritional vitamin / herbal approaches aimed at reducing fluid retention or build up that frequently occurs pre-menses.  Other causes have included traumas from car accidents, slips and falls, sports injuries, and other activity related causes.  In these cases, examination may lead to a diagnosis of abnormal biomechanics in the cervical spine and chiropractic treatment addressing these findings may prove very satisfying.  Other causes may include stress and/or psychological conditions that required co-management with mental health practitioners and/or their primary care physicians. The combined efforts of medication and chiropractic treatments are most satisfying for these patients.

In general, the cause of headaches are usually multi-factorial and therefore, the most effective treatment is a multi-dimensional approach in which chiropractic treatment methods are, in most cases, the most important contribution to the successful management of headaches.  Chiropractic treatment approaches include spinal manipulation, mobilization, muscle release techniques such as trigger point therapy, longitudinal and /or transverse friction massage, massage therapy, manual and/or instrumental traction, physical therapy modalities including ice/heat, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, low level laser therapy, diet and nutritional counseling, and stress management.  Co-management needed for some patients can be arranged through this office and may include primary care physicians, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, pain management, rheumatology, internal medicine, neurology, physical therapy, as well as acupuncture.

Most important is that you feel confident that if you, your family or friends require treatment for headaches, our office will provide you with a comprehensive approach most likely to bring about a very satisfying outcome or result.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

The Many “Faces” of Whiplash

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Clear Lake City Chiropractor comments: Motor vehicle collisions (MVC), usually result in injuries to the neck and upper back.  However, there are often other complaints that can occur immediately or after a delayed time frame. The mechanism of injury or, “how did the accident happen?” is very important to discuss in detail.  For example, a low speed crash such as 5-10 mph may not result in much damage to the car. However when this occurs, the contents inside the car are jostled and thrown about more than if there had been car damage. This is because the impact was too slow to dent or crush the metal and the energy of the crash was not absorbed but rather, transferred to the contents inside the car – that is, the passengers.

Another cause might be a roll over accident. If a person is suspended upside down in the vehicle, injury can occur from the seat belt, from falling from the seat upon releasing the seat belt, cuts or Whiplash in Car Accidentscrapes from broken glass, and so on.  Many people involved in MVC’s are initially in “shock” and may not realize they are hurt until hours or days later.  Upon rising the next morning, a significant increase in pain intensity often prompts the person to seek emergency room care where medications are usually prescribed and a “wait and watch” recommendation is given.  Within the initial several days to a week, gradual increases of pain and other symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, “foggy thinking,” and loss of appetite due to the high pain intensity can occur, and the person may then visit a chiropractic clinic, as the “waiting and watching” approach just doesn’t make sense.

The initial examination findings often reveal significant muscle spasms and pinching of the nerves in the upper part of the neck, resulting in headaches.  Patients may have difficulty describing their complaints including problems communicating with others such as, “I just can’t find the words I want to use.”  This lack of mental clarity is often caused by a concussion and can last weeks to months.  Some patients do well and may feel 50-75% better after 3-6 weeks of chiropractic treatment with respect to neck pain and headache intensity and frequency but of course, this varies from patient to patient.  During this time, exercises are usually given to help stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weak muscles in the neck and upper back region. Temporary work restrictions may be required, especially if the patient had not been able to work prior to seeking chiropractic treatment.  A quick return to work is usually very important.

Hence, a “wait and watch” approach usually does not work very well.  In addition, the use of medications may prohibit being able to drive a car or adequately function at work.  Certain medications can also affect a person’s ability to responsibly manage their children.  It can be very confusing for many people when trying to decide from whom they should seek treatment after a whiplash injury.  The primary goal of the chiropractic physician is to achieve a reduction in symptoms and return the patient to a productive, functional lifestyle as quickly as possible.  We sincerely appreciate the trust that our patient’s place in us when choosing our clinic to treat their problems associated with motor vehicle accidents and whiplash.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. If you’ve suffered whiplash in a car accident, you can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Low Back Pain and its Many Causes

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Clear Lake City Doctor of Chiropractic comments: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common complaints presenting to our office and remains one of the most challenging conditions to manage because there are so many causes of LBP.  Some of the causes include the obvious such as over lifting, over use activities such as sports injuries (bowling, golfing, skiing, tennis, football, Lower Back Pain Causesetc.), raking leaves, shoveling mulch, and more.  Frequently, work related strains are the primary cause of LBP due to the constant, persistent and awkward positions frequently required in many jobs, especially in repetitive motion assembly line work.

The cause can also be as simple as standing on 2 feet vs. 4 feet.  Studies show when 2 legged and 4 legged animals are compared, arthritis starts in the 3rd vs. the 6th decade of life, respectively due to the vertical load placed on the biped or 2-legged animal. In spite of this, after sharing this information with patients, I have not been successful in convincing them to start walking on all fours!  Because we are a 2-legged species, addressing a short leg can have significant benefits to any spinal condition.  This is because a short leg of only 5mm (1/4 inch) can result in a drop in the pelvis resulting in crooked foundation that the spine sits on, creating a curvature in the spine.  This places stress on the spinal components including the spinal cord and nerves and can contribute or be the actual cause of not only LBP, but also problems higher in the spine including neck pain and headaches!

Every now and then a satisfying outcome is not achieved until I address the leg length issue by the use of heel or a combination of heel & sole lifts.  If a leg is short, the effects at the top – that is, the neck and head, are dramatically affected.  In one case, treatment to the neck and head had little effect on his headaches and only after placing a heel lift in one shoe and arch support in both shoes did he feel significantly improved.

In most cases, treatment addressing the entire body from the feet up yields the most satisfying results. Also, secondary issues such as diet, stress management, home treatments including exercises, can be very important in the successful management of back pain.  In many patients, a combination of chiropractic, leg length correction, and nutritional management including the use of vitamin and herbs resulted in the best approach results.

Usually, offering the patient advice on the methods of applying ice, modifying/reducing bending/ lifting activities, as well as performing the chiropractic treatment will satisfy the majority of patients. However, in some cases, co-management with other allied health care providers is necessary, especially where there is a slow response in the initial acute stage of LBP. If these less common cases should occur, the combination of chiropractic and primary care yields the best results.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Suffering from CTS? Prompt Treatment is Best!

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Houston Chiropractor Comments: Many people suffer from CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) and unfortunately, often ignore the initial symptoms of numbness or tingling in the hand(s).  These early symptoms are typically not too alarming and hence, they often do not raise the level of concern until more intense symptoms occur; such as waking up from sleep due to numbness, dropping items, difficulty buttoning clothing, needing to switch hands when driving, difficulty writing, typing, knitting, as well as work related pain.  There may also be fear of job loss associated with CTS, especially in these hard economic times with frequent lay offs, prompting CTS sufferers to postpone initial care.  Unfortunately, delaying treatment is associated with a longer recovery time when compared to prompt management which usually results in a quicker, less complicated and more satisfying recovery.Carpal Tunnel Houston


There are many causes and contributing factors of CTS.  The most prevalent cause is mechanical irritation from simply moving the hands too fast for too long, without enough rest.  Another risk factor is age (over 50 years old). In this era of an aging workforce, this may be a significant issue.  Fast, repetitive movements of the arms and hands are often a direct cause and can be appreciated by watching someone knit rapidly and/or performing line work using fast, repetitive movements.  If the hands/wrists have to bend in awkward positions to accomplish a work task, or if a tool that is frequently used places pressure in the palm of the hand, these can also contribute to the onset or perpetuation of CTS.  Other conditions can also contribute to CTS including inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid, diabetes, pregnancy, the use of birth control pills, obesity and hypothyroidism.


The management of CTS is case specific, and is dependant on which of the above mentioned causes or contributors are present.  Management of any metabolic disorder such as diabetes or hypothyroid is important, especially compliance with taking appropriate medication, when indicated.  The management of weight, hormone replacement therapy, and fluid retention all play a roll in CTS management.  Ergonomic or job-related management strategies are very important and can include work station modifications so that unnecessary awkward arm/wrist/hand positions can be avoided.  This may require moving the item being worked on to a less stressful position, using a different type of tool handle (screw driver, etc.), changing the height or reach distance at which the material is worked on, and taking “mini-breaks” every ½ to 1 hour when the lack of rest is a contributor.  Frequently, the combination of pinching a phone between the head and shoulder, typing data into a computer where the monitor is positioned too high or off to one side, and excessive arm motions using a computer mouse can contribute to pinching the nerve in the neck and/or arm, resulting in CTS.  Remedies for this situation include the use of a head set, repositioning the computer monitor so that it is in front of the worker, and using a trackball type of mouse to eliminate arm motion can be extremely helpful.  Treatment strategies offered by chiropractors include the use of night splinting to avoid awkward wrist/hand positions during sleep.  In addition, manual therapy to the wrist and the tight muscles in the front of the forearm, as well as other nerve constriction areas such as the elbow, shoulder, and neck, manipulation of the joints in hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and/or neck, depending on what is unique and needed for that patient, and the use of physiological therapeutics such as low level laser light therapy, electrical stimulation, and/or ultrasound have all been shown to offer beneficial effects. Nutritional recommendations include Vitamin B6 (150mg/day), magnesium, calcium, Co-Q10, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D3.  Reducing glutens (wheat, oats, barley, and rye) is also very important due to the inflammatory response of these foods.  Surgery is typically, the last treatment resort and is appropriate, “when all else fails.”  We welcome you to our clinic and are proud to offer you a non-drug, non-surgical solution for CTS and its disabling symptoms.


Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!