Tension Headaches and Migraines
Headaches are a frequent complaint in our society. The intensity varies depending on the type of headache however what remains constant is the natural desire to find solutions to reduce or eliminate them.
There exists various types of headaches. The two most common types of headaches are tension headaches and migraines. In the case of tension headaches, there is a steady, non-throbbing mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. This form of headache is caused by contractures of upper shoulder and neck muscles which attach directly to the cervical and dorsal vertebrae. The contracted muscles can subsequently alter the position of these vertebrae leading to an an irritation of the spinal nerves.
Since part of the function of these nerves is to innervate the surrounding muscles, their irritation cause the muscles to contract even more. In many cases, this produces a perpetual negative feedback cycle that can only be stopped with spinal adjustments to the affected area.
The other type of headache is migraines. Approximately 15% of the adult population suffers from this condition. Women are affected 2-3X more than men. It is often a unilateral throbbing pain accompanied by nausea and sometimes vomiting. Some people experience an aura (symptoms such as flashing lights) before the onset of the headache. The pain is caused from the dilation of cerebral blood vessels. Due to the fact that the nervous system regulates the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, many migraine sufferers can experience a significant reduction in their symptoms through the use of chiropractic cervical adjustments which directly serve to diminish or eliminate the nerve interference innervating these blood vessels.