82% Success with Chronic Migraine Pain
The Head & Neck Can Influence Multiple Types of Headaches
What are Migraines?
Migraines can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually just on one side of the head. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Additional Symptoms of Chronic Migraine Pain:
Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head, but can occur on either side of the head.
a severe, throbbing, pulsing pain
Increased pain during physical activity or when straining
Inability to perform regular activities due to pain.
Feeling sick and physically vomiting.
Increased sensitivity to light and sound, often relieved by lying quietly in a darkened room.
Less commonly: sweating, temperature changes, stomach ache, and diarrhea
Other Types of Headaches
Tension headaches cause tightness or pressure around your forehead or on the back of your head and neck and most commonly affect adults. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few days.
Cervicogenic headaches are caused by referred pain from the bones, muscles, and joints in the head (occiput) and neck. These headaches are usually accompanied by neck and shoulder pain, and can be felt on one side of the head and face, and can often refer to the forehead and over one eye.
Post-concussion headaches are caused by changes in the head and neck after a trauma. Such headaches are usually accompanied by additional post-concussion symptoms including dizziness, brain fog, light sensitivity or fatigue. These can often self-resolve, though can often last beyond one month following a concussion.
What Kind of Headaches do You Have?
A Brain-Based Approach from a Headache Specialist
The Head & Neck
The basic background of the head and neck junction is essential to understand. The lower 2/3 of your neck is fairly stable, but the upper 1/3 of your neck is far more mobile and complex. This region has major influence on brain communication, functioning similarly to a relay station and therefore incredibly important.
When you have any type of injury, even if it’s a minor fall or accident from years ago, it can cause damage to the ligaments, the “glue” that support your neck alignment. If this occurs, your head and neck can become slightly misaligned as shown in the picture above. This causes 3 main problems:
When the top two bones in the spine misalign, the fluid that flows between your brain and body doesn’t flow smoothly (both the blood, and cerebrospinal fluid). The twisted pathway is similar to a river frothing around a curve, and causes inflammation. This can lead to headache and brain fog, among many other symptoms.
The muscles become imbalanced, affecting signals from the muscles back to the brain. The suboccipital muscles (right where your head meets your neck) supporting your neck become most imbalanced, causing chronic pain or tension at the base of your skull.
The imbalance causes further neck stiffness and pain. Inflammation and irritation near the brain stem can interfere with the information signaling between your brain and body, so the body remains imbalanced until a specific correction is obtained.
A specific exam from a NUCCA headache specialist can tell you whether this type of misalignment is contributing to headaches. Treatment of the misalignment will:
Improve blood flow between the brain and body
Improve brain-body balance and communication to decrease pain
Balance muscle tone