Most head pains are caused by problems outside the head: too little sleep, too much alcohol, or too much stress. Rarely is there a trauma in the head or a stroke causing the pain. More commonly, neck injuries from whiplash or sporting accidents can cause headaches. This is because the spinal joints have been sprained and the nerves are irritated. There may also be some stretch to the tough linings around the spinal cord.
Many headache sufferers understand that neck pain and tension often come with the head pain. For them, the idea of neck problems linked to headaches is understandable. When you can understand that the location of the pain (in your head) is not necessarily where the problem is located, you’ve taken a big step in understanding how the body works. Because mechanical neck and back problems can cause areas distant to show pain, it is easy to get led astray down the endless path of pills and potions.
A scoliosis in the lower spine will need to be compensated for above and this often has to occur in the neck. Taken a step further, when a problem affects the pelvis or hip, such as a short leg, the eyes will try to level to correct for the tilt below. This is why sometimes adjustments to the neck region alone will not fix a difficult headache case.
If there are biomechanical problems below the neck, they will need to be addressed for a desirable outcome. For these reasons, the chiropractor needs to address the full spine when seeking a cause for a patient’s headache.
It is important to look at the scientific evidence behind a treatment if you’re making important healthcare decisions. You need to weigh both the pros and cons of anything, and you also want to get at the root cause of any problem.
In migraine and tension headaches, the evidence shows that chiropractic care will decrease the pain as quickly as powerful medications, but without the side effects associated with drugs that only cover up the symptoms. Although more research is definitely needed, for those who want a holistic and natural approach, chiropractic care is the clear choice.