Headaches and the Upper Neck

Headaches and Subluxations

 

If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? There is a better alternative.

Numerous research studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments help the body resolve headaches, especially those that originate in the neck.​  Although headaches can be due to a wide variety of causes, such as drug reactions, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), tightness in the neck muscles, low blood sugar, high blood pressure, stress and fatigue, the majority of recurrent headaches are of two types: tension headaches (also called cervicogenic headaches) and migraine headaches.

 

Subluxations

Headaches and Chiropractic The most common cause of tension headaches is subluxations in the upper neck.  When the top two cervical vertebrae (C1 and/or  C2) lose their normal motion or position, a small muscle called the rectus capitis posterior minor (RCPM) muscle goes into spasm. The problem is that this small muscle has a tendon that slips between the upper neck and the base of the skull and attaches to a thin pain-sensitive tissue called the dura mater that covers the brain. Although the brain itself has no feeling, the dura mater is very pain-sensitive.  Correcting that subluxation can allow dramatic relief from headaches.

A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, NC, found that “spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than commonly prescribed medications.” A number of studies reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT)  found that chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, improves both migraine and cervicogenic headaches.

My experience is that over 90% of patients in my office with headaches or migraines improve dramatically or completely with specific chiropractic adjustments to the upper cervical spine.  This holds true even when patients have known sensitivities to certain foods, alcohol or sugar.  This is what happens when your nervous system works normally and your body is able to adapt.

Who do you know that could benefit from chiropractic care? Mention this blog for your complimentary consultation and exam ($75 value!) to see if chiropractic can help you!* Call us today at 512-346-3536 or request an appointment here.

*Offer not valid for Medicare beneficiaries or Personal Injury Cases. Office hours by appointment only.

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