Are Usually Caused By?
- Joint restrictions in your cervical spine
- short, stiff and painful muscles at the base of your skull, neck and or shoulders
- Nerve irritation in the cervical spine
- Impedance of blood flow to the brain
Joint restrictions in your upper cervical spine can cause irritation in your facet joints, which in turn cause irritation to your meningeal nerve roots that connect to your spinal cord. When the nerve roots get irritated with inflammation the nerve sends a signal of pain letting you know something is wrong.
When the muscles at the base of your skull become short and stiff, they can actually compress the nerves that pass through and next to these muscles. When these nerves become compressed or irritated, the result is a headache. Muscles that connect from your neck and shoulders can cause headaches, via putting stress on the joints in your upper cervical spine.
How Does This Happen?
- Prolonged time in front of a computer or doing paperwork
- Motor Vehicle Accidents resulting in whiplash injuries
- Chronic tension to your muscles
When a person bends their head forward to read or type, the neck begins to straighten and the weight of the head must be countered by the pull of the muscles at the back of the neck. If the person does this all day, because they work at a computer for example, then the muscles never get a break. Knots, tightness or spasms of the muscles will increase and cause a neck ache. Because the muscles pull at the base of the head, the person may feel a tightness or pain around the head. These are the symptoms of what is called a tension type headache.
How Do We Treat Your Headaches?
We conduct a thorough history and examination to properly diagnose your specific type of headache and determine the exact cause. We evaluate the structural alignment of your bones. Muscles in your neck and shoulder region are evaluated to determine if they are causing pressure on your nerves. From there we will inform you exactly what is wrong and how we will fix it. If we have structural problems we will use gentle chiropractic adjustments to restore your normal function. If we find that your headache is caused by short, stiff and painful muscles, we will use Active Release Technique to fix these muscles. Typically most headaches can be resolved by Active Release Technique.
Headaches can also be caused by certain rare diseases and high blood pressure. This is why it is extremely important to have the cause of headache properly diagnosed. Your doctors here at Elite Performance & Pain Center have extensively studied both spinal problems that cause headaches, as well as the more rare diseases which occasionally cause the same symptoms.