Many people seek relief of headache pain. Headaches are one of the most common maladies known to man. Some are incapacitated by their headaches while others are annoyed and function at less than their best.
In my 37 years of chiropractic practice, I have seen many patients who suffer from headaches. This article will discuss a common cause of headache pain and will introduce a safe, gentle method of offering headache pain relief.
Headaches come in many forms and varieties. Almost everyone is aware of migraine headaches. We may personally have experience with them or know someone who suffers with migraines. This condition frequently causes a person to have to completely discontinue their activities and seek a quiet dark room where they can lie down so as to receive some degree of comfort.
Tension headaches, while not as severe as migraine headaches, also plague mankind. Tension headaches, also called stress headaches, are the most common form of headaches. People suffering from stress headaches usually “carry on” albeit under mild to moderate distress.
Regardless of the type of headache, the majority originate from the same cause. It has been found that irritation to the upper nerves of the neck is the most frequent source of headache pain.
Let’s take a moment to look at the anatomy of the upper neck so we can better understand what causes headaches and understand how headaches can be treated successfully.
We all know that there are bones making up the human spine. These bones are called vertebrae. The vertebrae of the neck are called the cervical vertebrae.
The brain sends messages down the spinal cord which is protected by the cervical vertebrae. The spinal cord sends nerve branches, called spinal nerves, to various parts of the body. These spinal nerves exit openings between the vertebrae to the right and left.
The upper most spinal nerves of the cervical area are called the greater occipital nerves. These nerves ascend from the upper part of the neck to the skull.
When these nerves are irritated by misaligned upper cervical vertebrae the common result is a headache. For some people this can be tension headaches and for others it is the cause of migraine headaches.
The best approach for headache pain relief is to remove irritation from the greater occipital nerves. This commonly results in substantial improvement in patient’s headache pain symptoms.
Doctors of Chiropractic often utilize methods to reduce pressure on the greater occipital nerves to treat patients with various forms of headaches. Chiropractic spinal manipulations, also called spinal adjustments, have been utilized for over 125 years to bring headache pain relief.
These spinal adjustments are very safe and gentle. Chiropractors spend many years learning to perfect techniques to correct alignment problems causing greater occipital nerve irritation and subsequent headaches.
This conservative approach is preferred by many patients as a natural approach for the problem. No medications or surgery is needed when chiropractic care is utilized for headache pain relief. Patients who undergo chiropractic care appreciate this natural, holistic form of health care.