Your spine protects your nervous system. When the vertebrae in your neck are unable to move properly, they irritate or put pressure on the nerves in that area and restricts blood flow, which can cause headaches.
To correct this problem (called a subluxation) a Chiropractor gently adjusts the vertebrae. Since most headaches are caused by subluxations, they will soon disappear.
Muscle ‘knots’ or trigger points can also refer pain up into the head and even the face. Dry needling, and correcting the underlying joint biomechanics, releases these trigger points very effectively, thus taking the pain away.
Migraine headaches are usually severe and sharp, throbbing in nature, and generally affect one side of the head, often behind the eye or temple. They can also be associated with other symptoms known as aura (nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo, flashing lights, light sensitivity etc).
Although the cause of these headaches is not known, it is believed that blood flow restriction to the brain is a major contributing factor. When neck vertebrae move out of alignment, that can cause this blood flow restriction and nerve irritation. This accompanied with a number of other triggers can eventually lead to the headache.
Tension Headaches (Stress Headaches)
These are one of the most common types of headaches. Tension headaches tend to occur frequently, last a long time and are characterized by a dull, steady pain that feels like a band of pressure around the head.
The headaches my last for 30 minutes to several days and usually start gradually and intensify in the middle of the day. Contributing factors are stress, poor posture, fatigue, anxiety, over exertion and depression.
A cervicogenic headache is another name for a headache which originates from the neck and is one of the most common types of headache. When certain neck movements or sustained postures such as stretching or compression forces are placed on the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves of the neck, this may lead to damage or injury. It can occur instantly or over time.
When this occurs pain may be referred to the head causing a headache. This condition is known as cervicogenic headache.
Cervicogenic headache typically occurs due to damage to one or more joints, muscles, ligaments or nerves of the top 3 vertebra of the neck. The pain associated with this condition is an example of referred pain (i.e. pain arising from a distant source – in this case the neck).
This occurs because the nerves that supply the upper neck also supply the skin overlying the head, forehead, jaw line, back of the eyes and ears. As a result, pain arising from structures of the upper neck may refer pain to any of these regions causing a cervicogenic headache.
Chiropractic care has been proven to be extremely effective in treating all of these headaches as well as neck pain and stiffness with the use of manipulation to correct abnormal spinal alignment and muscle tissue work.
Once my headache stops, does the Chiropractic care end?
Your body continues to heal after the pain has subsided. Continuing to have chiropractic manipulation helps to retrain your vertebrae to hold their healthy positions. Your nervous system will function more efficiently and your body will be better able to heal itself. In time, exercise, a healthy diet, and periodic visits to the Chiropractor will help you stay healthy, pain free, and live life to the fullest.