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chronic neck pain and the relationship to headaches


Neck Pain Headaches

“Tension-type headache, previously called muscle contraction headache, is the most common type of headache. Its name indicates the role of stress and mental or emotional conflict in triggering the pain and contracting muscles in the neck, face, scalp, and jaw.”  U.S. Government’s National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).
If you have CHRONIC NECK PAIN, it is highly likely that you also suffer from CHRONIC HEADACHES as well.  These two things seem to go together like Laurel and Hardy, or politicians and B.S.  Where you find one, you are likely to find the other.  I would say that of the patients I see for Chronic Neck Pain, at least 85% of them struggle with regular headaches as well.  This is because of the intimate relationship between the anatomy (structure) and physiology (function) of the neck and head (see picture below).  On top of this, there is a great deal of research into the two (studies to come momentarily).

Although tightness, spasm, SUBLUXATION, TRIGGER POINTS, or SCAR TISSUE in the neck area causes what are usually known as “Tension Headaches”, this name is not exactly accurate.  The more appropriate diagnosis would be “Cervicogenic Headaches” (HERE).  This means that your headaches were ‘birthed’ or generated by your neck (aka, Cervical Spine).  This is not difficult to understand when you look at the picture below.  Superficial nerves that arise from the neck, end up on the head.  When there is physical tension in the tissues of the neck, the result is irritation of the nerve system.  This irritation is a common cause of pain.  If the irritation is severe enough, it can affect the blood vessels and even in some instances bring on a MIGRAINE HEADACHE.

I love looking at research.  The problem with research is that you have to look at it extremely objectively.  This is because everyone in the scientific field has some sort of agenda.  In other words, studies should be taken with a grain of salt because “Science” is all too often what the highest bidder says it is.  You can visit (or revisit as the case may be) this phenomenon by looking at the numerous articles I have written on the MYTH OF EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE.  However, if you want studies, I’ll give you studies.  HERE are the studies on Chronic Neck Pain as related to Chiropractic, and HERE are the studies on Headaches / Migraines.

These studies are great.  However, they do not largely delve into treatment pertaining to Scar Tissue and FASCIAL ADHESIONS.  Unfortunately there are far too many people who have tried all the different methods of treatment dealt with in these studies, and still struggle with Chronic Neck Pain and / or Headaches.  If you have Chronic Neck Pain and have not tried Tissue Remodeling, you need to think about taking the plunge.  Take a moment and watch a few of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS (HERE and HERE are several more interspersed with articles about Chronic Neck Pain and Headaches).


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