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Headache Chiropractor Calgary: Headaches and Chiropractic Treatment

Headaches are one of the most frequent reasons that people seek medical advice. It is the primary presenting complaint of ten per cent of chiropractic patients. They are the cause of significant pain and disability. This results in direct treatment costs of ---- and ---- days of lost work. If you or one of your family members suffer from this condition you know how important it is to find relief.

The many different types of headaches have been classified. Probably the most important first distinction is to establish whether the headache is benign. A benign headache is not associated with any specific injury or disease process. A benign headache may have a number of contributing factors.

These are:


Most headaches have a multifactorial cause. To determine the factors contributing to your headaches a thorough review of your health history is important. When did they begin, did your parents experience headaches, do you have other symptoms associated with your headaches such as dizziness, visual changes, nausea or any neurological activity. What triggers, aggravates or relieves your headaches. Keeping a diary is very useful to track these things.

How Does Treatment of Your Neck Help Headaches?

It has been our experience that most patients experience a change in the frequency and intensity if not complete relief of their headaches with chiropractic treatment. It is a safe and natural treatment without medications. This is important because medications have side effects such as rebound headaches that occur with analgesics. The cervical (neck) spine sits adjacent to the brain stem and head. The blood supply and nerve supply to the head are intimately linked to the spinal anatomy and function of the neck. Problems here can result in headaches. These are known as cervicogenic headaches. Mechanism of cervicogenic headaches:

  1. Referral of pain from joint dysfunction, pain sensitive nerves are found in the joint structures and when activated they can cause headaches.
  2. Referral of pain from cervical (neck) muscultature. Areas of irritability in the muscle known as a trigger point cause pain to travel to the head.
  3. Nerve irritation as marked on the following diagram of the cervical spine can also result in headaches:
      1. a sub occipital nerve that supplies the back of the skull where it comes out between the base of the skull and the first vertebra. This nerve can be irritated by tightness of the fascia and musculature in this area.
      2. There has been evidence now that a ligament between the upper two cervical vertebras attaches to the meninges, which cover the spinal cord. Traction on this ligament when these vertebra do not move correctly-results in nerve irritation.
      3. Irritation of the autonomic nervous system alters the vascular function in the head and can trigger a migraine type headache.

Chiropractic adjustment with the benefit to joint movement, muscle tone and the nervous system are very important to include as part of any strategy to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

Do you have any back pain problems? Consult Dr Davidson at our Back Clinic in Calgary for further assistance.

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