Headaches and neck pain are two of the most common conditions that people go to chiropractors for…and we have become very good at getting rid of these debilitating conditions. Most types of headaches respond very well to chiropractic manipulation and massage.
In the majority of cases (excluding serious brain pathology / head trauma) headaches are a referrred pain condition from inflammation of cervical facet joints and spasm of neck and cranial muscles. That is to say that treatment of inflammed and restricted upper neck joints and massage of the muscles around the base of the skull often provide relief from headache pain within a couple of visits. As a result most headaches will completely resolve very quickly with treatment.
Headache pain can be localised to the upper neck or it can refer anywhere in the head, forehead, eyes or face. A lot of patients complain of pain in and around their eyes and often around the forehead. It can be a general all over the head referral of pain or it can be specific to one spot on the skull.
Headaches, and especially migraines, can present with a range of neurological symptoms such as dizziness, blurry vision, light sensitivity, pins and needles, numbness, or simply pain (which can be dull and persistent, sharp and specific, or throbbing with visual and auditory symptoms). They can give nausea, vomiting, tiredness, vertigo, tinnitus, or the inability to think clearly. And they can make you very grumpy.
Headaches can often be related to problems lower in the spine. Pelvic tilt/rotation and/or spinal scoliosis will ultimately work its way up to the end of the spinal column and strain the neck. Thus long term correction of headaches must address the integrity of the entire spinal column.
Dehydration is a major cause of headache. This can be from lack of fluids, excessive physical activity, too much alcohol, or too much caffeine. Correcting spinal joint dysfunction must be combined with appropriate dietary considerations in order to be effective in the long term. Some people also suffer from food intolerance which can cause headaches.
Stress is a major player in causing headaches. This usually takes the form of too much work in too short a time frame. It is not necessarily difficult work or difficult circumstances. It can also result from emotional stress from family or relationship problems or financial problems. Stress management techniques need to be learned to prevent health problems.