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Dr Sloves' and Dr Joachim's Blog

Is Your Neck The Cause of Your Headaches?

Posted: April 13, 2016
By: Dr. Mark Joachim

                                                              How can the cause of my headaches be coming from my neck?  

Nerves coming off your spinal cord in your neck travel into your head. When the nerves exit your neck they travel between the spinal bones calledvertebrae. When there are misalignments of the vertebrae called subluxations in your neck these nerves may become pinched and irritated causing you to feel the pain in your head (or othe symptoms such as dizziness and ringing in your ears.) The term used for this condition is Cervicogenic headache.  It use to be thought that all headaches were caused by something in the head itself, but now we know that the cause may certainly be coming from the neck especially after neck injuries or traumas  related to sports, whiplash or even poor posture over time.

Cervicogenic headache patterns may include one sided head pain along with same side shoulder and or arm pain; limited neck movement. You may also have migraine related symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or throbbing sensations in your head. Because of the different signs from a typical migraine headache, the neck may not be considered as a potential source of your head pain and other causes need to be ruled out, such as high blood pressure. In any case, the lack of pain pills in your diet is not the cause of your headache. Taking medications to cover the pain will not ultimately correct the mechanical irritation of the nerves in your neck sue to the presence of the subluxations.  

Chiropractic care has successfully treated spine related head pain especially cervicogenic headaches. A comprehensive chiropractic examination of your spine will determine if subluxations of the vertebrae in your neck are causing your headaches.