I Wish I Had Known My Migraine Headaches Were Coming from My Neck

Migraine Headache
Chiropractic Care Helps Migraine Headaches

Recently, a patient in my office named Heather, said: “I wish I had known my migraine headaches were coming from my neck. I would’ve come to you years ago.” Heather had suffered with migraine headaches several times a month for 10 years. Her headaches were quite debilitating. Most the time she was nauseous and had to lie down in a dark room with a cold pack on her forehead. Many times, she had to cancel planned activities with family and friends if a migraine developed.

Fortunately, chiropractic care helped Heather to significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of her headaches. She was able to go months without a headache and if one did develop it was usually mild and she could get relief by putting a cold pack the back of her neck.

This article will discuss migraine headaches and their relationship to the neck area, also called the cervical spine. Chiropractic care as a possible treatment for this condition will be detailed. A recent research study noting an association between neck pain and migraine conditions will be analyzed.

Approximately 12% of the US population, including children, suffers from migraine headaches. Females are three times more likely to experience migraine headaches than males. Migraine headaches are considered to be more debilitating than common stress or tension headaches. Symptoms of migrainous headaches are a severe sharp, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Nausea and vomiting commonly occur. Some people’s migraines develop spontaneously while others are triggered by certain foods, smells, visual and auditory sensations and stimulations.

For many years, chiropractors have noted an association between the bones of the upper neck, also called the upper cervical spine and various types of headaches including migraines. Chiropractors are trained to examine and analyze the alignment and movement of these bones called vertebrae. If the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine are misaligned and moving improperly it can cause irritation of the joints and nerves of the area and this can be a source and cause of a headache.

A recent research study published in Cephalgia, May 2019 noted that among a group of 142 patients with a history of migraines, those with concurrent neck pain reported 80% more migraine related disability than participants without neck pain. The findings add to a growing body of research that suggests the neck plays a role in the migraine headache process, as previous studies have noted an association between cervical dysfunction (improper movement of the upper cervical bones) and migraine intensity and frequency.

Doctors Of Chiropractic have the experience and expertise to evaluate the upper cervical spine to determine if there is a problem with this area that can be helped. If help can be provided a chiropractor will utilize treatment called spinal manipulation (also called a spinal vertebral adjustment) to safely and gently correct the cause of the problem. When this occurs a considerable number of patients who have suffered with migraine headaches have been able to find improvement of their condition.

It would be wise and prudent for anyone suffering from migraine headaches to consult a chiropractor. For over hundred 25 years chiropractic care has been a conservative, safe, gentle drug-free method of giving people freedom from headaches.

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Begin With The Deepest Structures

Spine and Pelvis
The Spine and Pelvis

In my chiropractic practice, I am commonly asked by patients in pain if their condition is caused by “tight muscles.” My answer is: “yes and no.” You might say that “yes and no” isn’t a very good answer and I’d reply it’s the best I have for that question.

Pain can be caused by tight muscles, but we must ask: “Why are the muscles tight?” We can’t forget that the muscles are on the surface of our body. We also must remember that our spinal and pelvic bones and joints are deep and underneath the muscles. If the deep pelvic and spinal bones are in good alignment and moving properly then the surface muscles will be relaxed. However, if the spinal and pelvic bones are misaligned and irritating the joints and pinching nerves the muscles will get tight and go into spasm to protect us so that we don’t hurt the spine further. We dislike that spasm, but we must respect that our muscles are protecting us and keeping us from further injury. It is important to examine the deepest structures first. If we correct the spinal and pelvic misalignments with chiropractic care the muscles will then relax naturally.

This brings up another commonly asked question: “Should I get a massage?” My answer is that massages will help temporarily. I’m all for massages but they won’t fully correct the problem unless the spine is adjusted by a chiropractor.

Likewise, we want to utilize a physical therapist at the proper time. If there is a misalignment and physical therapy exercises are directed at a misaligned spine all we do is injure it further. So, we must do our chiropractic adjustments first, then exercise will be fantastic. Of course, the exercises you’ve learned here at our office are low risk and can and should be performed daily.

When we are having a musculo-skeletal problem of the spine, seeing the proper health care specialist in the correct time sequence will keep us from delaying healing and bring relief of pain sooner. I commonly like to refer patients to physical therapists and massage therapists after the patients have had the underlying spinal and pelvic joint conditions corrected with their chiropractic care.

Remember, chiropractic care helps restore balance and allows our bodies to heal and function well – naturally, without drugs or invasive surgery. It is important to check the deepest structures in our body first to address the underlying cause of the condition.

Visit this site to learn more about chiropractor, Dr James Schofield. See this to find more about http://www.northhillspachiropractor.com/.



Post-Concussion Problems In Youngsters May Be Helped by Chiropractic

Concussion 2
Chiropractic Care For Concussions


In my 34 years of chiropractic practice I have seen a number of cases of children and adolescents who have suffered a concussion and have been helped by chiropractic treatment. This article will discuss causes of concussion, ensuing symptoms and impairments and possible treatment. It will also reveal findings of a recent research study regarding concussion and youngsters.

Just as in adults, juveniles and teens can suffer from concussion. We all know that kids are very active physically and can suffer injuries by falling, striking their head or being in an auto accident. Certain sports have higher incidence of causing concussions. It is common knowledge that younger people playing sports like football and hockey are susceptible to concussion injuries. But it might surprise some to know that cheerleaders have a moderate chance to undergo an injury causing a concussion. Likewise, competitive divers and soccer players who head the ball have received concussive-type conditions.

The prevalence of mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, in the United States is estimated at 3.8 million per year. 85% of people undergoing a concussion will have symptoms that resolve within 7 to 10 days. The remaining 15%, however will exhibit persisting symptoms lasting weeks, months or even years after their injury. Those suffering, ongoing symptoms persisting longer than 4 to 12 weeks are considered to have a chronic problem known as post-concussion syndrome.

Common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, visual and hearing disturbances, concentration problems and emotional irregularities. Many healthcare practitioners attribute these symptoms purely to the brain injury. However, a growing number of healthcare professionals are realizing that these same symptoms can come from injuries to the upper neck area also called the upper cervical spine.

A recent research article published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, April 2019 found that examination of children and adolescents with a history of concussion also had a high prevalence of cervical spine impairments.

If there is enough trauma to cause a brain concussion there is also more than enough force to cause injury to the upper cervical spine. Chiropractors have extensive training and experience in evaluating abnormal movement or misalignment injuries of the neck or cervical spine. Should this be the case chiropractors are also trained and educated in the skilled treatment of these injuries. Doctors of Chiropractic are experts at helping to treat vertebrae of the upper neck that are in need of realignment and to restore proper motion.

It is important for any young person suffering lingering effects of a concussion to see both a medical doctor specializing in brain trauma and a chiropractor for evaluation of a possible upper cervical spine injury.

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Our Patients Speak — Chelsea Bowling

Chelsea Bowling
Chelsea Bowling and Dr James Schofield


NAME: Chelsea Bowling


  1. What was your condition?

I had gotten headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain ever since I could remember.


  1. What steps had you taken previously to get help?

I had taken a variety of migraine medications, anti-inflammatories, ice and cracking my own neck to try to get relief. At one point, I experienced a migraine aura and ended up going to see a headache specialist for it.


  1. How were you referred to chiropractic?

My mom had gone to a chiropractor in the past and wanted to start getting regular adjustments again. She found Dr. Schofield online and booked an appointment for herself, my brother and I.


  1. In your words, what did the chiropractor do?

Dr. Schofield took me back to his office where he asked in detail about my pain, where I was experiencing it and when. He then did an exam, took some x-rays and walked me through a treatment plan that would work best for me and my condition.


  1. What are your hobbies and interests?

For fun, I like to go out with friends, play video games, crochet, and binge watch tv. I also like to spin, hike and do yoga and pilates to stay active.


  1. How has chiropractic helped your hobbies and interests?

Not having to plan my life around headaches and migraines anymore has been HUGE for me. I always had to have migraine medication with me, some form of caffeine and an excuse to get out of plans last minute just in case a headache started brewing. Now, I can be spontaneous and free to live my life without worrying that a headache will crash my party.


  1. How has chiropractic helped other aspects of your life?

When I was born, they had to use a suction device on the top of my head to help get me out. I wasn’t situated properly because I’m stubborn and I like to march to the beat of my own drum, I guess. Because of the awkward positioning during my birth, my very top vertebra was twisted out of alignment, causing the headaches and migraines I was experiencing. When I came to see Dr. Schofield, he pointed it out to me on the x-rays and started working to correct it. I’m happy to report that while realigning my vertebrae, I gained half an inch in height! Day one, I was 5 feet 1 ¼ inches tall. Today, I am 5 feet 1 ¾ inches tall! You can round that up to 5’2”, I don’t mind.


  1. Words of encouragement to others?

When you get a couple adjustments, start to feel better and think you don’t need to come in anymore… do it anyway. Finish the treatment plan Dr. Schofield laid out for you and come back religiously for maintenance. I promise, you’ll be glad you did. Be aware of your posture, make friends with your icepack and look out for the Evil G’s.

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My Shoulder Blade Is Killing Me!

Posture-Good & Bad
Chiropractic Care For Shoulder Blade Pain


On her first visit to my chiropractic office a patient, named Karla, told me: “My shoulder blade Is killing me”! She had been having mild, ongoing pain in the area of her right shoulder blade for several months. She did rigorous physical work with her job of housecleaning. Over time her discomfort worsened to the point she had to something and decided to come to my office.

In my 34 years of chiropractic practice I have seen many cases similar to Karla’s and I had a good idea of what was causing her problem and how to help her. This article will discuss what can cause pain in the shoulder blade area. It will also discuss a recent research study which gives more insight into the underlying cause of shoulder blade pain and how chiropractic care can help improve this common condition.

Many people experience discomfort in the shoulder blade region. Let’s give some clarity about this area. Anatomically, there is a large bone resting on the back of our upper ribs on both sides called the scapula. Some people refer to this bone as the “wing bone”. The inside border of this particular bone is referred to as the medial scapular border which simply means it is the inside portion of the shoulder blade.

Progressing further into our description of this area we note that there are muscles that attach to the scapula. One muscle that attaches to the shoulder blade and extends to the spinal column is called the rhomboid muscle. We have a right rhomboid muscle and the left rhomboid muscle. Again, they attach to the inside border of the scapula and insert onto the spinal column. Their main job is to pull our shoulder blades back. If a person is performing a rowing type activity they are using their rhomboid muscles

Interestingly, the area of the mid back we are discussing is intricately associated with the neck area. A recent research study in the Journal of Biomechanics, April 2019 notes that researchers observed that patients having neck pain also had mid back problems. The findings suggest that pain in the neck area can affect the mid back spinal region and can increase the risk for pain in the mid back.

For Karla and many other patients who have pain in the shoulder blades this means that it is important to assess and examine the areas of the neck and the mid back to determine a possible cause of their problem.

What chiropractic practitioners have found for over 125 years is that the spinal area of the mid back is linked and associated with the spinal area of the neck. If bones in the neck are misaligned causing irritation to the spinal joints and pinching the nerves of the neck the muscles of the mid back, especially the rhomboids, will go into spasm to protect the abnormal condition in the spinal area of the neck.

This discomfort can vary by being a tightness, soreness, spasm or burning. It can be constant all the time or it may be intermittent; perhaps occurring if patients do certain types of physical activity.

Whatever the symptomatology, it is important for the healthcare practitioner to examine the whole patient to identify cause of the pain so that a successful treatment outcome can occur.

As a chiropractor, I will check the alignment of the neck and the mid back. If there are misalignments in either region I will then perform chiropractic adjustments which will safely, and gently realign the spinal vertebrae. This will remove irritation to the spinal joints and pinched nerves. In turn, muscles including the rhomboids will relax as they do not have to compensate and try to protect the deleterious condition.

Many people who experience mid back and shoulder blade pain can be helped with a safe, gentle, nonsurgical, drug-free chiropractic care. Doctors of Chiropractic have been helping patients suffering with pain in the shoulder region for over a century.

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