There are a several types and causes of headaches. Despite the cause you want them to end. Fast! This has created a huge market for pain medication in an attempt to cover up the symptoms. While this may seem convenient, there can be adverse side affects and ultimately they don’t address the cause of the headache.
Tension headaches and Migraine headaches are usually classified as cervicogenic (from Latin meaning: originating in the neck). According to the CDC, 90% of headaches are cervicogenic. Examples of non-cervicogenic headaches are: concussions, brain tumors, and chemical headaches from the side affects of medication.
With so many headaches originating in the neck, why not look there first? Well, I do. When one or more of the seven vertebrae in the neck become misaligned, due to trauma or stress, the surrounding nerves initiate the muscles to spasm and the headache symptoms cascade from there.
Tight muscles in the back of the neck pull on the scalp. The scalp pulls on the muscles of the forehead and behind the eyes and around the side of the head. The pounding sensation is the blood being pumped through the blood vessels, under the tight scalp, and around the muscles in spasm.
When the neck injury becomes chronic, scar tissue forms over the muscles and joints of the neck. At this point a headache can be triggered at any time. Sitting at the computer for a prolonged time can trigger it. Sleeping in the wrong position can trigger it. Sports injuries or working out can trigger it. Not to mention inactivity.
My approach to treatment is to locate the misaligned joint, restore its normal motion and gently break up the scar tissue and muscle spasms that came as a result of misalignment. By treating the cause, the symptoms naturally go away. Yes, I have oversimplified this. Be sure that it takes a great deal of skill and fair amount of time for your body to heal.
As a patient and now a doctor, I have found that the use of specific Chiropractic adjustments along with the gentle soft tissue protocols of ART have lead to the best results to reduce and eliminate most headaches.
I know that I’ve become a better Chiropractor because I suffered with Migraines. It has given me great empathy for my patients. I’ve installed dimmer switches in my treatment rooms. If you have migraines you know why. The walls are insulated from excess noise and I wash my hands with a mild, odorless soap. These precautions are a direct result of my experience with migraines and my attention to detail in the treatment of this condition.
Please e-mail me with any questions or comments.