Few of the millions who get occasional headaches have it as bad as the migraine sufferer. Far from being a minor annoyance these headaches can ruin lives.
The migraine is a special type of headache -a vascular headache (as opposed to the more common tension headache). A migraine includes a collection of symptoms (a syndrome) that appear before the headache pain itself hits. Examples are: spots, lines or colored lights before the eyes, redness, swelling, tearing, muscle contraction, hallucinations, irritability, depression, numbness, constipation or diarrhea, and sometimes even a feeling of well-being!
As the warning symptoms leave the headache itself hits. It may range in severity from minor discomfort to immobilizing agony and may last from minutes to days. A few of the most common expressions of it are:
Your Amazing Incredible Neck
Inside your neck are your neck bones (cervical vertebrae), spinal and cranial nerves, spinal cord, blood vessels, glands (including the thyroid and parathyroids), voice box (larynx), esophagus, trachea, brain stem, and many muscles, ligaments and other structures. With all that, it's still able to gracefully balance your head and turn, tilt and bend without damaging its vital occupants.
That's amazing because if your neck's functions are interrupted for even a few seconds you'd lose consciousness and begin to die.
The Cervical Spine
Cervix is the Latin word for neck, meaning a constricted area (the uterus and urinary bladders have a neck or cervix too). Your seven small neck bones are called cervical vertebrae, numbered C-1 to C-7.
Inside your cervical vertebrae lies your spinal cord, a continuation of the brain down your neck and back. Protection of the spinal cord is extremely important because an injury to it can result in instant paralysis or death.
Your vertebrae are connected to each other by discs, ligaments and tendons that help give the neck its shape (the cerviccurve). Between the vertebrae are openings where nerves, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, fat and connective tissues are found.
With all of the neck's complexity it should come as no surprise that neck problems are common. They may develop suddenly from a trauma such as a whiplash or fall, or slowly as a result of spinal imbalance, vertebral subluxations, emotional stress or bad posture. Damaged or irritated neck nerves can cause more than neck pain. Pain in the face, shoulder, arm, wrist, hand and fingers as well as reduced neck motion may also occur. Other neck problems include headaches, vision difficulties, dizziness, ringing in the ears, decreased attention span, learning and memory impairments, nasal problems, tongue and throat problems.
The most serious neck problems-such as fracture, dislocation or severe tissue damage-can be fatal if not given emergency medical care. Most other neck problems, however, although not life-threatening, can impair your health if not corrected.
Pain in the neck can be caused by irritation, inflammation, injury or infection. Pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, hand or head most frequently results from irritation of cervical nerve roots in the region of the intervertebral foramen, encroachment of the vascular supply as it courses through the vertebral canal, or invasion of the cord in the spinal canal.
The Role Of The Chiropractor
When the spinal bones are off center, the small openings through which the nerves travel may become narrower causing irritation to the cervical nerve roots10 and may also cause pressure upon the spinal cord. Chiropractic spinal care counters the effect of stress and unnatural wear and tear by relieving your neck of the vertebral subluxation complex and restoring proper movement to the spinal column.
Chiropractic & Neck Injury
Since most medical doctors and physical therapists are not trained to locate and correct vertebral subluxations, an accident victim will leave the emergency room with as many subluxations as they had when they entered. Without chiropractic spinal care, a neck injury might continue to cause silent damage for decades before the problem is recognized; by that time it may be too late for a complete recovery.
Get A Spinal Checkup
Everyone with a spine needs to have it checked periodically by a chiropractor. Just as a periodic dental checkup is necessary to keep your teeth healthy, so a chiropractic spinal checkup is necessary to ensure a nervous system that is free from vertebral subluxations permitting you to experience greater healing and well-being.
The migraine is different from tension headaches because tension headaches usually involve the whole head, start suddenly and only include nausea and vomiting if it becomes very severe. Also, migraines affect more women than men, and usually begin after puberty. The cause of migraines is not known.
- The pain most likely occurs on only one side of the head.
- Nausea and vomiting are usually associated with it.
- The throbbing eventually evolves into a dull steady pain.
Because other members of the family may also have headache prublems, some researchers believe migraines may have a hereditary component. But there are many things you inherit from your parents that have no genetic component which may be related to headache formation: how you deal with stress, anger and tension and how you hold your body (posture). Genes usually give us tendencies, not the condition itself. No migraine gene is known.
The Cluster Headache
Cluster headache attacks seem to mostly affect men between 20 and 40. They come on abruptly, with intense throbbing pain arising high in one nostril and spreading behind the eye on that side of the face. The attacks tend to occur from once to several times daily in clusters lasting weeks or even months. Without apparent reason the cluster subsides as quickly as it began.
The Chiropractic Approach
Millions of headache sufferers are turning to the natural, drugless, chiropractic approach to health. Chiropractors are the only healing professionals who are trained to analyze and correct the vertebral subluxation complex, a spinal distortion that damages the nerves. It is a very common, often painless condition-that weakens the body, causes fatigue, lowers vitality and sets the stage for sickness and diseases.
Chiropractic is a method of removing spinal damage so your body may work better and heal itself. Chiropractors don't treat headaches and yet millions of headache sufferers have benefited from the safe, natural, drugless, chiropractic approach to health care. By correcting your vertebral subluxation complex, your body, with its magnificent natural healing ability, is better able to address your overall needs.
The Chiropractic Checkup
Using his/her hands, X-ray and other instruments to analyze your spine, the chiropractor will determine if you have any vertebral subluxations in your body. Then, using special techniques, your chiropractor will perform a chiropractic spinal adjustment to correct the vertebral subluxation complex, removing the nerve pressure and spinal distortions.
Please keep in mind that the purpose of the chiropractic spinal adjustment is not to cure your headache but to remove the nerve and spinal stress caused by the vertebral subluxation complex. This permits your body to restore itself to a greater level of health and wholeness -to better heal itself.
The Spine/Headache Relationship
It was once believed that the structures of the neck were not related to headaches, however that is no longer the case. Now there is a special term for those headaches that originate in the neck: the cervicogmic headache. As Dr. Howard Vernon (D.C.) concluded in reviewing the literature on the spine! headache relationship, The body of literature supporting a [spinal] origin of headache...is substantial.
It appears that there are many pain-sensitive structures in the neck the joints, discs and even ligaments that may be related to problems that whiplash and accident victims often report: headache, dizziness and other problems. In fact, a study of 6,000 people who suffered from recurring headaches for two to 25 years showed that spine injury was the most important factor in the cause of the headache and should be suspected in every nonspecfic case of headache
Can Chiropractic Help You?
Chiropractors have, for over a century, observed that after chiropractic spinal care, children and adult migraine sufferers report improvement or alleviation of their condition.
Call us today in Olympia (360) 438-6425 for a immediate appointment.