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Headaches can be caused by a number of conditions. One of the most common causes of headaches that do not originate in the head is called a “cervicogenic” headache which means it originates in the neck. The source of pain stems from structures around the neck which may be impinged or damaged. These structures can include joints, ligaments, muscles, and cervical discs, all of which have complex nerve endings. When these structures are damaged, the nerve endings send pain signals up the pathway from the nerves of the neck to the brain. During this process, the signals communicate or intermingle with the nerve fibers of the trigeminal nerve. Since the trigeminal nerve is responsible for the perception of “head” pain, the patient experiences the symptoms of a headache.
A chiropractor may be able to manage your headache which may be caused by a subluxation or more serious problems. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, chiropractic care may be a valuable therapy for your headache:
- Have you ever been in a car accident?
- Has your neck ever experienced trauma?
- Have you ever played football or any other contact sport?
- Have you experienced many ‘minor’ injuries?
- Is your neck stiff or, at times, difficult to move?
If you answered “yes” to at least one of the questions above, chiropractic care may benefit you.