The bad news. Most people will experience some form of headache during their lifetime. Good news for most people is that most headaches are related, at least in part, to the neck or cervical spine and can be easily managed with chiropractic care.
How are cervicogenic headaches caused? One way is that neck dysfunction irritates the sensory nerves which can communicate with the cranial nerves in the spinal cord. These signals synapse(electrical impulse) happen in the same area of the spinal chord and result in whats known as a referred pain pattern with the pain signals coming from the neck traveling along the nerves to the head. These synapses irritate the cranial nerve and you feel the pain in the frontal or lateral area of the head or irritate the occipital nerve and you feel the pain in the base of the skull.
Chiropractic treatment includes a combination of spinal manipulation; soft tissue therapies, such as myofascial release; active release techniques of the tight suboccipital muscles; manual and/or home cervical traction; and posture correction.
Migraine headaches can be very intense, unusual headache that cause significant visual and/or auditory problems; and other neurological signs and symptoms such as balance disturbance, dizziness, weakness, paralysis, speech difficulties, mental confusion, and nausea or vomiting. Migrain headaches are usually more severe many times they tend to drive patients to the emergency room first and after they have been to see the medical community and have not been able to find relief through medications I usually see them being their last resort. Conservative spinal care in many cases helps manage these type of headaches without the need for drugs.
While there are other causes these are a few of the common one’s I have treated. Chiropractors are trained to recognize red flags that may indicate other problems refer to the appropriate healthcare provider when needed.