I recently had a patient come to me complaining of constant headache pain since an auto accident she had a few weeks back. I have also seen many patients suffering from chronic headache pain due to auto accidents they have experienced many years before. Indeed, the force that is transmitted to the head and neck, even in a relatively minor accident, can damage those delicate structures and result in chronic headache pain.
The nerves that transmit headache pain actually do not originate in the head. They come from the upper neck area. Thus, anything that damages or irritates that area can cause headaches. While auto accidents are a common, and unfortunately rather dramatic cause of headaches, life’s more subtle injuries to the neck can also result in headache pain.
We spend much of our day hunched over computers or desks or cell phones. This is also a type of trauma that can cause irritation and damage to the ligaments of the upper neck area. The body will heal that damage with scar tissue. That scar tissue can impinge upon and irritate the nerves that transmit the headache pain. Similarly, misalignments of those vertebrae in the upper neck can also impinge on those same nerves.
As a chiropractor my goal is to address the root cause of headaches. This entails very gently working on the area in question to realign and mobilize the bones of the neck. By doing so, I’m breaking up scar tissue and giving the body a chance to heal the joints in the proper position. Similarly, I will work on the soft tissue around that area. Scar tissue can also form within the muscles of the body. Breaking up that scar tissue can also relieve pressure on the nerves in that area.
I have been privileged to see people who have suffered from headaches for years find complete relief from their pain. By understanding the anatomy of the body and applying gentle corrective forces in that area, tremendous healing can occur.