What are the root causes of Headaches & Migraines?
Headaches happen very often and they affect almost half of the population. Fifteen to twenty percent of headaches come from pain in the neck and are classified as "cervicogenic headaches." Cervicogenic headache is aggravated by limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine. Under normal circumstances, each of the joints in your neck moves freely and independently. Restrictions in the upper cervical spine start a very painful cycle of stiffness, muscle tightness, and joint inflammation. Sensitive nerves leading from your neck into the back of your head may be irritated because of this. At Maximum Performance, we see patients from all over Northwest Arkansas to treat chronic headaches.
Cervicogenic headaches are quite often one-sided, but on a rare occurence they could be present on both sides of the head. Pain often comes from the bottom of your skull toward the top of your head and can sometimes even settle over your eyes. In some instances, the pain can come and rest in your arm. These headache episodes could last from hours to days. The pain is constant but changing and can often be described as "deep." You may tend to see chronic neck tenderness and stiffness.
Cervicogenic headache symptoms may come from or be reproduced by awkward movements and postures. The condition is more common in patients who have recently experienced some type of trauma, especially an automobile accident or an earlier concussion. The condition often affects middle-aged women, from a rate of four to one. Cervicogenic headaches are sometimes brought on by poor posture, including a "slouched" or "forward head" posture.
Be sure to notify us if your headaches are becoming worse over time, if you experience a sudden onset of severe headaches, a new or unfamiliar headache, or if you notice significant neck stiffness, dizziness, numbness or tingling on your face, rash, light-headedness, loss of consciousness, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, nausea, numbness radiating into your arms or legs, or fever.
Being dehydrated can worsen cervicogenic headaches. Be sure to be drinking 6-8 glasses of water everyday, even more in hot weather or when you've been sweating profusely. Since cervicogenic headaches are an outcome from a mechanical problem, medicines tend to be ineffective. Fortunately, our office has many tools to help you solve this problem.