Tension Headaches

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A very common reason you may seek help from a chiropractor, medical professional or therapist is for headaches. The most common type of headache is the ‘Tension Headache’.

There are a number of reasons why you maybe suffering with a tension headache.

  •  - Eyestrain
  •  - Jaw clenching
  •  - Neck / shoulder tension (Cervicogenic headaches)

As a chiropractor I see a lot of Cervicogenic headaches and jaw related headaches. These are extremely common and respond well to the care we provide at the Farnham Chiropractic Wellness Centre.

Cervicogenic Headaches

Neck generated headaches. The neck and head are not only physically joined, but they also share many nerves and muscles. If there is irritation to these nerves and muscles this can easily be reflected (referred) to the head and felt as a headache.

1) Nerve Entrapment

Just like the sciatic nerve can get entrapped in the low back and / or buttock, so too can the nerves in the neck and the base of the skull.

2) Joint Damage

The joints in the neck can also refer pain to the head. Again, this is because there is common nerve supply to the head and neck joints. The most common reason neck joints get irritated / injured is from trauma. This is usually from repetitive micro-trauma from poor posture. A good example of this is sitting in front of a computer.

 

 

3) Trigger Points

Irritated and injured muscles can actually refer pain in their own right. These are commonly called trigger points. The trigger points of the suboccipitals refer in band around the head to the eyes (left). The muscles at the back of the skull (occipitals) refer to crown and eyes (middle). The muscles of the shoulder (upper trapezuis) refer up the neck over the ear toward the eyes (right).

           


Chiropractic treatment of Cervicogenic Headaches

This is similar to the approach we will have to any symptom. We take a thorough history and carefully examine you paying particular attention to your spine. The spine is loaded with nerve tissue so damage and irritation to the spine can affect the nerves causing symptoms.

A primary goal of any chiropractor is to restore normal movement and flexibility to the joints of the spine. I find that most of my patients get better results if I also release the muscle tension in stressed muscles.

At the Farnham Chiropractic Wellness Centre we do manual muscle testing. This allows us to accurately find the weaknesses in your system. Our treatment has particular focus on strengthening these weaknesses and restoring function.

Understanding your body helps you be more involved in your own health care. I hope that you enjoy learning in this, and the future articles.

Get well, stay well!


Grant Pretorius, M.Chiro, ART

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