Health Update: Headaches
Chiropractic Manipulation: A Study Regarding Headaches
Headaches are a common complaint in patients presenting for professional care, including chiropractic management. Patients with headaches seek chiropractic care because they find manipulation or adjustments applied to the cervical spine and upper back region are highly effective in reducing the intensity, frequency and duration of the headache pain. This is because the cervical spine / neck, is often the origin of the headache as the three nerves in the upper neck (C1, 2 and 3) pass through the thick, overly taught neck muscles in route to the scalp / head. When the muscles of the neck are in spasm, the nerves get “pinched” or squeezed by the overly tight muscles resulting in headache pain. Each nerve runs to a different part of the head and therefore, pain may be described as “…radiating over the top of head (sometimes into the forehead and eyes),” or, into the head and over the ear, sometimes reaching the temple. Also, an area located in the back and side of the head is the area where the C1 nerve innervates, so pain may also be reported in that location. When more than one of the C1-3 nerves is pinched, the whole side to the top of the head may be involved.