Headaches are another one of the most commons symptoms that brings people in to see a chiropractor. There are 3 types of headaches that are most common.
**Tension/Cervicogenic Headaches: As the name states, this headache arises from tension in the neck, or cervical, region. This headache can vary in intensity, wrap around the head, locate behind one or both eyes, and generally is a dull pressure or dullness.
**Migraine Headaches: These headaches generally come on following exposure to something the person is sensitive to (light, heat, smell, etc.). These produce a more severe throbbing, generally on one side of the head but sometimes both sides.
**Cluster Headaches: These are generally very severe in nature and frequently cause sagging of an eye or side of the face. These come in waves of pain that is generally unbearable.
The cause of tension/cervicogenic headaches arises from the muscles and joints of the neck. Poor posture and overuse of the neck are the most common causes of these headaches. Here, the muscles get fatigued, tighten, stress the spinal joints, and the ache begins.
Cluster and migraine headaches are the result of either nervous system dysfunction or vascular dysfunction. The jury is still out on this. But we must ask ourselves... what causes the nervous or vascular dysfunction? Clinical experience shows that people with these types of headaches tend to have problems in their upper neck spinal joints. Could it be possible that the nerves of the upper neck or brainstem go to the blood vessels in the head and when the upper neck spinal joints get locked up, or subluxated, inflammation chokes these nerves creating a distorted signal, thus causing dysfunction of these blood vessels, creating these headaches? Our clinical experience says, "yes."
Dr. Miller's treatment of this is two-fold:
1) Correct the muscular dysfunction through massage therapy and/or myofascial disruption technique. Massage therapy will work in-depth to increase flexibility and function of the muscles in the entire region. Myofascial disruption technique is a very specific treatment performed by Dr. Miller to correct one or more of the four types of muscular dysfunction.
2) Specific spinal adjustments to subluxations. These adjustments are tailored to each individual to have an effective, but comfortable, experience.