Headaches & migraines
Cervicogenic headaches originate from the neck, shoulders and spine where the increased tension through these areas often result in a headache. They are typically one sided, intense, non-throbbing headache that can cause nausea and vomiting if severe enough. It can feel like the pain is behind one eye ball. No visual disturbance or neurological signs are present. They most commonly involve pain and discomfort in the upper neck and can often be described as pain that started in the upper neck.
The tension headache usually presents as a generalised headache characterised as a dull tightness around the scalp. Tension headaches can affect concentration, mood and can sometimes cause nausea. The jaw can also be involved as it is often caused by clenching or grinding because of stress, jaw injury or joint dysfunction.
Usually an intense headache on one side that can involve nausea, vomiting and visual disturbance. Some migraines begin with visual disturbance like partial blind spots or squiggly lines in the visual field with the headache beginning after about 20 minutes. It has a throbbing pulsating nature. Due to its severity and the other symptoms the migraine patient cannot function and is usually bedridden.
How we can help?
Depending on the type of headache you have, your chiropractor will determine the course and method of treatment. Providing that the headache has not arisen due to a serious medical reason treatment may commence. Chiropractors are educated in differentiating the different types of headaches, and if there are signs of an underlying serious medical condition they will refer you to a specialised medical professional. The chiropractor may be able to reproduce the aches and sometimes the headache feeling especially upon palpation in the neck, head and shoulder region. Spinal related headaches may involve treatment to the areas of the cervical spine, the upper cervical muscles and the suboccipital muscles. In tension related headaches the TMJ (or jaw) is often involved due to stress, grinding or tension of the jaw. With migraines there may also be dietary as well as hormone factors involved, and in many cases co-management with other health professionals will be recommended.