Tens of millions of Americans suffer from headaches each year. These range from tension headaches to cluster headaches and migraines. This problem is so common that it accounts for a high number of visits to doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, and walk-in clinics. No matter what type of medication is used, the problem with drugs for headaches are that they don’t actually treat the problem. They only temporarily mask the symptoms. They can also be toxic, expensive, and have side effects.
Overuse of certain drugs can increase the severity, frequency, and duration of headaches. This is known as a “rebound headache”. Research has revealed that headache pain is not something you know about, but it is very common. The problem isn’t in your head, but in your neck. This condition is known as “cervicogenic headache” by scientists. The word “cervico”, which means “cervico”, is the prefix. The suffix “genic” is derived from the word Genesis, which means the beginning (as found in the Bible’s first book).
A “cervicogenic” headache refers to a headache that has its origin (or cause) in the neck region of your body.
What causes cervicogenic headaches? The most common cause of cervicogenic headaches is stress and tension on the spine and spinal nerves. These nerve structures are delicate and can be strained by abnormal postures, such as forward head posture, as well as misalignments of the spine called the vertebrae. A nerve is pressed on when a bone in the spine is misaligned.
This is similar to when a pebble is placed in your shoe. The pebble presses on a nerve causing pain. It causes pain signals to be sent up to the brain by irritating the nerve. Many pain-sensitive nerves in the head originate in the neck. These nerves can be irritated, and the pain will manifest as a headache. To relieve cervicogenic headaches, you need to remove the physical stress on the spine and the spinal nerves in your neck.
The Doctor of Chiropractic can correct the vertebral misalignments by performing a series painless adjustments. The abnormal postures can be corrected by a combination adjustment and exercises to strengthen the neck muscles. This will permanently resolve headache pain.