Chronic Headaches and Migraines Are Often Caused BY A Prior Neck Injury

Posted in Head Disorders on Jul 21, 2022

Chronic Headaches and Chronic Migraines Are Often Caused By a Prior Neck Injury

The head-neck junction is one of the most complex biomechanical regions of the body. We have all heard the phrase “ structure dictates function”. This phrase intimates that structural abnormalities in the spine can have a negative effect on the normal function of the body, especially in the upper cervical spine. In this article, we will talk about the relationship between injuries to the upper cervical spine and how they can lead to not only chronic headaches and migraine but also can be at the root of many different chronic health problems. We will discuss how injury to the neck affects the structure and how it is at the root CAUSE of many who suffer from chronic headaches.

But first, listen to what one of our patients experienced following Blair's upper cervical care:

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Tracy Shaw -verified google review

I have suffered from migraines since the age of three. I have tried everything from acupuncture, massage therapy, and general chiropractic, as well as taking prescription medications from the neurologist. Nothing I have just listed has worked as well as what Dr. Hall has done for me. I have been under his care for about the past 7 years and each time I see him my migraines seem to disappear within hours after his visit or never come at all. I am a true believer in upper cervical care and I must say that Dr. Hall has given quality back to my life. With the help of Dr. Hall, I am able to once again function in my daily life. I highly recommend anyone who suffers as I have to please go see Dr. Hall. It will change your life.

Upper cervical spine anatomy

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The head-on average weighs 10-12 pounds and sits on the top vertebrae in the neck called the atlas, weighing only to ounces. To make the engineering more precarious these two structures sit on the end of a “stick”, your neck. Life is inherently traumatic. Few of us make it through this life without having a car accident, slip, and fall, or sports injury. Blunt trauma can cause one or several joints in the neck to misalign tearing the fibrous ligament surrounding the joint called the joint capsule. Once Injury occurs to the soft tissue a cascade of postural and neurophysiological events follow and set the stage for headaches and other chronic health problems.

Joint misalignment leads to muscle imbalances throughout the spine. Once a joint is injured it loses its normal range of motion which fires bad information from the joint receptors back into the spinal cord which can lead to dysfunction through many different neurological pathways.

The myo-dural bridge - an underlying cause of the headache and nervous system interference

A rather new anatomical finding in the past ten years explains how headaches can be caused by upper cervical spine joint misalignment. This new anatomical finding was coined “myo-dural bridge”. Myo means muscle and dural refers to the thin sheath-like covering over the spinal cord. About ten years ago an anatomist found a muscle at the base of the skull named the rectus capitus posterior minor (RCPM) muscle that connects or bridges” to the dura covering the spinal cord. This new finding opened up a new biomechanical mechanism that could explain tension headaches, migraine, and other chronic health issues related to abnormal nervous system function.

As we discussed earlier injury to the neck can cause spinal misalignment at the joint level. This injury causes loss of motion that then causes the muscles of the neck to become unbalanced and chronically tight. When the RCPM muscle becomes tight it “tugs” on the dural sheath covering the brainstem (the most vital part of your nervous system located at the base of the skull). The myo-dural bridge has been implicated as the source of a large percentage of patients who suffer from chronic tension headaches and migraine.

If you have chronic headaches and other chronic health problems it is wise to get to a Blair upper cervical chiropractor who is specially trained to locate, analyze, and correct any upper cervical spine misalignment to ensure the brainstem and central nervous system is working optimally.

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How does a Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractor Locate Upper Neck Misalignments?

If you entered a Blair upper cervical chiropractic office you would be assessed for upper cervical spine misalignment from a battery of tests that determine if you have it and at what level of the spine. Once the patient shows evidence of structural misalignment and nervous system interference a precise 3-d image called cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is taken. (Fig.1) This imaging allows the doctor to view the spinal joints to determine the direction and magnitude of misalignment. Once determined the patient is corrected with the data gleaned from the imaging. The Blair procedure uses precision and finesses not force to restore normal motion to the misaligned vertebrae. The correction involves no twisting, popping, or pulling and its end goal is the restore normal function to the central nervous system so the body can return to normal function and health.

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