Most headaches are caused by physical strain on the muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues in the neck and upper back. Over time, these forces can pull the spine out of alignment, resulting in inflammation and nerve compression in these areas, which in turn causes headaches, neck pain and shoulder strain. Inflammation can also interfere with normal circulation in the head and neck, making it more difficult for the body to remove built-up toxins that can contribute to pain. Other issues that can cause headaches include allergies, chronic stress, poor posture, poor ergonomics at home and at work, diseases like high blood pressure and degenerative diseases like arthritis. Having a thorough evaluation is the key to ensuring the most appropriate treatment is provided for immediate and long-term symptom relief.
Cervical radiculopathy is a leading cause of neck pain and headache. It develops when the nerves in the neck become compressed, often as a result of a slipped or herniated disc in the upper spine (called the cervical spine) or as a result of changes in the spine joints, including arthritic changes. In addition to a headache and neck pain, cervical radiculopathy can cause pain and numbness radiating into the upper back and arms.
Medical research has shown migraines are caused by a combination of factors affecting both circulation and nervous system function. Chiropractic adjustments are related treatments can be ideal solutions for migraine pain since they're focused on addressing both these issues at their sources.
Chiropractors begin by using hands-on evaluations to assess the entire spine and pinpoint the source of pain. Once the cause of symptoms has been determined, chiropractors work to realign and readjust the spine to relieve nerve compression and optimize circulation and nervous system function, promoting enhanced circulation for better healing. Therapeutic massage also may help by releasing muscle knots that can pull on the spine and contribute to nerve compression. Ongoing hands-on evaluations ensure treatment remains optimized for each patient's needs to help keep symptoms at bay.