More than 90 percent of headaches can be classified as tension-type, migraine or cervicogenic. By far, most people get tension-type headaches and get them frequently. They typically suffer mild to moderate pain, on both sides of the head, that is often described as tight, stiff, constricting – like having something wrapped around your head and pressing tightly. Cervicogenic headache is a muskuloskeletal form of tension-type headache (which may also be related to migraines). Many times, cervicogenic headache goes undiagnosed as such due to the relative newness of this classification.
Migraines are periodic severe, throbbing headaches that afflict far fewer people (and more women than men), usually hurt on one side of the head, can cause loss of appetite, nausea and even vomiting, and may involve a visual change called an aura.
Some headaches, however, may be signals of more serious disorders such as head injury that call for prompt medical care. According to the National Institutes of Health, these include:
1. Sudden, severe headache
2. Headache associated with convulsions
3. Headache accompanied by confusion or loss of consciousness
4. Headache following a blow on the head
5. Headache associated with pain in the eye or ear
6. Persistent headache in a person who was previously headache free
7. Recurring headache in children
8. Headache associated with fever
Dr. Youdeem has had considerable success relieving the cause of headache pain and releasing headache sufferers from the dangerous vicious circle of taking ever-larger doses of ever-stronger painkillers that may even be causing new and worse headaches.
Chiropractic adjustments have shown to be as effective and even more effective than medications in reducing the severity and frequency of headaches. Chiropractic is particularly successful dealing with cervicogenic headache.
Even though cervicogenic and other tension-type headaches may not actually involve stress or muscle tension, chiropractic's ability to adjust spinal abnormalities seems to lessen or remove the forces contributing to many individuals headache pain.
When a misalignment of the vertebrae causes migraines, the out of position vertebrae puts pressure on one or more spinal nerves, resulting in reduced blood flow to the head. To compensate, blood vessels in the head expand and irritate surrounding nerves. Result: The throbbing pain of a migraine. With a tension headache the pressure on the spinal nerves is not severe enough to affect blood flow. However, contraction of the neck muscle fibers irritate the underlying nerves in the neck. The irritated nerves signal for the muscles to tighten resulting in a cycle of spasm and pain throughout the head. Result: The dull pain of a tension headache. Chiropractic treatment is a logical approach for control and cure of recurring migraine and tension headaches. Chiropractors focus on treating the cause of headaches stem from a misalignment of the spine that is the result of injury, repetitive motion poor posture or a combination of all three. By adjusting the vertebrae involved into proper alignment, chiropractic care is able to stop the chain reaction of misaligned vertebrae to nerve interference to resulting headache before it has a chance to begin.
References • Bove G, Nilsson N. Spinal manipulation in the treatment of episodic tension-type headache, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 11, 1998; vol. 280, no. 18, pp1576-79. • Nelson CF, Bronfort G, Evans R. et al. The efficacy of spinal manipulation, amitriptyline and the combination of both therapies for prophylaxis of migraine headache. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Oct. 1998; vol. 21, no. 8, pp511-19. • Zwart J. Neck Mobility in different headache disorders. Headache, Jan. 1997; vol. 37, pp6-11. • Nilsson N, Christiansen HW, Hartvigsen J. The effect of spinal manipulation in the treatment of cervicogenic headache, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, June 1997;vol. 20, no. 5, pp326-30. • Martelletti P, LaTour D, Giacovazzo M. Spectrum of pathophysiological disorders in cervicogenic headache and its therapeutic indications, Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System, Winter 1995; vol. 3, no. 4, pp167-8 • Nelson CF. The Tension Headache, Migraine Headache Continuum: A Hypothesis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, March/April 1994; vol. 17, no. 3, pp156-66.