The Migraines and Upper Neck Connection
Types of Headaches:
Migraines: These are typically more painful than all of the other types of headaches and can be extremely severe for some people. A migraine can even incapacitate an individual and leave her bedridden until the pain dissipates. A large number of migraine sufferers experience sensitivity to light, smells and loud noises. It’s not uncommon to see a migraineur locked inside their bedroom with the lights off, curtains closed and their eyes and ears covered. Sometimes the person will also experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and pain at the base of the skull.
Cluster: This type usually occurs in cyclical patterns or clusters and results in severe pain in or around one eye on one side of the head. A cluster headache strikes quickly, usually without warning, although you might first have migraine-like nausea and aura. People with a cluster headache, unlike those with migraines, are likely to pace or sit and rock back and forth. Some migraine-like symptoms — including sensitivity to light and sound — can occur with a cluster headache, though usually on one side. A cluster period generally lasts from six to 12 weeks. The starting date and the duration of each cluster period might be consistent from period to period. For example, cluster periods can occur seasonally, such as every spring or every fall.
Tension: A tension headache is generally a diffuse, mild to moderate pain in your head that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head. A tension headache is the most common type of a headache, and yet its causes aren’t well-understood. Signs and symptoms of a tension headache include Dull head pain, the sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead or on the sides and back of your head, tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles. Tension headaches are divided into two main categories — episodic and chronic. Tension headaches can be difficult to distinguish from migraines. Unlike some forms of migraines, tension headaches usually aren’t associated with visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting. Although physical activity typically aggravates migraine pain, it doesn’t make tension headache pain worse. An increased sensitivity to either light or sound can occur with a tension headache, but these aren’t common symptoms.
Cervicogenic: This type is typically thought to have its origins in the neck –hence the name. One sign of this type is pain that comes from a sudden movement of your neck. Another is that you get head pain when your neck remains in the same position for some time. A cervicogenic headache can come from problems with the upper bones in your neck that happen over time. For example, people in certain jobs, like hair stylists, carpenters, and truck drivers, can get a headache from the way they hold their heads when they work. Sometimes they happen to people who hold their heads out in front of their bodies. That’s called “forward head motion,” and it puts extra weight on your neck and upper back.
The Migraines and Upper Neck Connection
Migraines, along with all of the other types of headaches can be daunting, for both the sufferer and the doctor. While diagnostic equipment and testing oftentimes pinpoint dysfunction; migraines and its solution often elude even the most persistent sufferer and doctor. The link between injury/trauma to the head/neck and Migraines has never been as strong as it is today. The injuries can be a fall onto one’s head, a concussion, heading a soccer ball, slip and fall in the shower or a whiplash injury to the neck from a seemingly small rear-end accident. It’s important to note that whiplash can be experienced by any of the above traumas and not simply from a rear-end collision. Although symptoms can begin almost immediately, they can, and often do, take many years to begin. About 40% of our patients can’t initially recall any type of injury to their head/neck. After some time, they often recall the trauma to their head that preceded the onset of their Migraine/Headache. These types of injuries often cause damage to one’s upper cervical spine (upper neck), which consists of the top two bones (vertebrae) in a person’s spine, which is more susceptible to injury than other parts of a person’s spine. Pressure on the brainstem and spinal cord can result when the neck is damaged and the top two vertebrae in a person’s neck are out of alignment -by less than a millimeter!
How Upper Cervical Care Can Help
The goal of our office is to find the structural misalignment in the upper neck and to address it. We take an advanced, full color, extremely low dose radiation 3-D CBCT scan of the upper neck to find the exact misalignment and use this as a blueprint for your custom correction that is unique to your anatomy -with no twisting, cracking or popping. Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic isn’t a cure-all but we do know that we’ve been able to help thousands of people with a wide array of issues – including Migraines, right here in Los Angeles.
To schedule, a complimentary consultation with Dr. Bello calls 213-399-7772.
Blair Upper Cervical Office in Los Angeles
Dr. Alex Bello is a Los Angeles Upper Cervical Chiropractor and uses the Blair Upper Cervical Technique exclusively. Our Blair Clinic has helped many people find natural relief from bells palsy, trigeminal neuralgia and post-concussion syndrome in Los Angeles, California. We are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine. This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems.