How can a Headache be caused by a neck injury?

A closer look at how neck injuries cause various types of headaches

There are numerous forms of headaches, and at some point in your life you may have experienced one form or another . These conditions vary from migraines to tension, Vertebrogenic and Tension Headaches. In case you were wondering if a neck injury can cause a headache, you are right. A neck injury is a leading cause of various form of headache. A problem on your neck joint region can result in severe headache. Often, neck related headaches are mistaken for migraine, yet they are different.

Neck injuries versus headaches

Your neck region has three spinal roots situated at the C1, C2, and C3. These roots share a nucleus with the trigeminal nerve, a fiber that draws messages from your brain to the face. The three spinal roots transmit nerve impulses towards the head region through the trigeminal-cervical tract.

This is the region where pain signals registers. Pain begins from the midbrain particularly at the thalamus then spreads to the cortical part of the brain. The cortical and thalamus serve as the reference points when it comes defining various kinds of headache. These regions also determine the severity of the type of headache you may have. Below are examples of how different forms of headaches occur;

Tension headache

Tension headache emanate from the suboccipital muscles situated at the base of the head. Suboccipital muscles form four pair muscles and function to facilitate movement of the skull at the vertebrae in the neck. When your suboccipital muscles become tender, they result in a headache.

These muscles can become tense when you wear new spectacles, strain to view distant objects, or practice poor postures in the office. They can also be affected when you suffer from whiplash injury or often grind your teeth. Tender suboccipital muscles may compress your nerves on the base of your skull which can, in turn, result in pain on the head.

Vertebrogenic and Tension Headache

Vertebrogenic headache, on the other hand, is the most common type of headache. This types of headaches can occur due to pain in the occipital region and neck. They emanate from the frontal-orbital region of your head. Vertebrogenic headache may also occur when you are experiencing degeneration of the cervical spine. You can often experience constant ache on either side of the head. These kinds of headache may also result from trauma, physical stress or having poor sitting postures.

Migraines
Migraines do not occur due to neck pain. However, if you experience a migraine, one of the symptoms you should look out for is neck pain and at times stiff neck.

Treatment measures
A problem in your neck could initiate a chain of activities which could result in severe headache. Fortunately, there is a treatment for every form of a headache you may have. Therefore, when you begin to get incredible pain in your head or neck region, it would be sensible for you visit your doctor.

Headaches vary based on the side of the head the pain is coming from. When you visit your physician, they are be able to diagnose you accurately and put you on the right treatment. Making improvements on your postures and sitting positions can also play a significant role in minimizing your chances of getting any of these headaches.

 

If you are having headaches you need to see a professional right away! Contact Denver Integrated Spine Center today! Call 303-758-9000 or contact us online!

Have I Suffered Whiplash?

Patients that have had whiplash injuries will notice the next day that they’re stiff, they’ll have pain in the neck, headaches. Typical headaches manifest themselves behind the back of the skull and radiate up over the head. They’ll have problems remembering names, where they put their keys, things like that. Those are signs of a concussive type of injury from a motor vehicle collision. Patients tell me that they wake up the next day and they literally feel like they’ve been run over by a truck where they just have pain and stiffness, decreased range of motion of their neck. One of the most common things that patients feel after that is fatigue and that is because, often, the head and neck is knocked out of alignment and they’re having to hold their head up in a different position for a period of time and that increases the energy that they expend and it causes overall fatigue.

How Do I Know If I Have Suffered From Whiplash After An Auto Accident?

Patients that have had whiplash injuries will notice the next day that they’re stiff, they’ll have pain in the neck, headaches. Typical headaches manifest themselves behind the back of the skull and radiate up over the head. They’ll have problems remembering names, where they put their keys, things like that.

For more information about our chiropractic services or how chiropractic treatment can help you, call The Denver Integrated Spine Center today.

How is Denver Integrated Spine Different?

The Denver Integrated Spine Center is very unique. We have treatment centers in our own clinic here that afford patients different opportunities to heal. First of all, we have a medical doctor on our staff, who oversees all of the care for the patients. We have chiropractic, which I have been a licensed chiropractor here in Denver for the last 30 years. We also have acupuncture. I have been doing acupuncture for 20 years.

We have several different ways that we can help the patients here. We have a massage therapist, who takes care of the initial symptoms of the patient. We actually have a [barrier 00:00:58] massage therapist do massage on the acutely injured patients to get their muscles to relax so that we can help start to reform the proper curves that the patients need from a motor vehicle collision.

We also do CBP, which is a technique that 99% of the chiropractors in this state do not do. It is a proven scientifically-based form of treatment that allows us to get the appropriate curves back into the spine that are knocked out from a motor vehicle collision.

How Does Whiplash Affect the Body?

What happens inside of somebody’s body when they suffer through a whiplash injury has been studied by several different researchers. Two studies I am going to talk about; one from Japan and one from the United States did video analysis of what happens to people.

The one from Japan is one where they did 90 frames per second x-ray video of the spine. They actually saw how the spine was moving. What happens is that the occupant of the vehicle stays motionless in space as the car is propelled forward underneath them. The seat is bolted to the frame of the car and that goes forward along with the car. The occupant, his body starts to low the seat back. What happens is the spine starts to elongate, becoming longer, and the researchers from the United States state that the spine actually goes three-and-a-half inches in height longer. What that does is it starts to create an S-shape curve in the neck and that damages the ligaments, the discs, as well as the facet joints, the joints in the back part of the spine.

What Happens To The Body When A Person Suffers From Whiplash?

The spine starts to elongate, becoming longer, and the researchers from the United States state that the spine actually goes three-and-a-half inches in height longer.

If you’ve been in an accident and are experiencing pain from whiplash, call Denver Integrated Spine today. We’ll help speed up your recovery.

What Stretches Help with Whiplash Pain?

Just stretching the muscles will help from a whiplash injury. There is three plains of motion in the cervical spine, it’s the spine of the neck. What you want to do is you want to get to the end point of those ranges of motion and just stretch your muscles. The first one is rotation, so what the patient should do is take their range of motion all the way to the endpoint, and just feel it stretch. Of course you want to do it bilaterally. You want to go to both sides, and then what you want to do is hold that stretch at the endpoint for a count of ten.

The next plain of motion is flexion and extension. You want to take your range of motion to the end point and hold that at that point, and then back, and then feel all the muscles stretch in the front part of your neck for ten seconds. Each of those ranges of motion. The next one is lateral flexion. You want to stretch all of the muscles on the side of your neck on both sides. Get your head over the side. Hold it there for ten seconds. Obviously you want to do it both sides, or bilaterally.

One of the things that I see a lot of patients do that was popular in aerobics classes back years ago was to do the circumduction of the head. You do not want to do that because that is bad for the posterior joints of your neck.

Have I Slipped a Disc?

A slipped disk is really a misnomer. It’s not really a disk that slips out of between your bony structures, your vertebrae in your body. What a slipped disk is, or we call it a prolapsed, or a bulging disk, is actually a weakened structure in the outer layers of the disk in between the vertebrae. There is a jelly-like, or a gelatinous type of substance in between those layers. That’s there to help cushion the disk, and allow enough space for the nerve to come out without being impeded.

What happens in a slipped disk is that there is a weakened structure outside of the nucleus, the annular fibers, that allows the jelly-like substance to extrude, or protrude out of the disk against the nerve. The nerve will send pain down into the back part of the leg, or into different, what we call dermatomal areas of the body. We can tell which levels of your spine have been injured by your symptoms that you tell us. That helps us determine or diagnose exactly which levels have been herniated or prolapsed. You can have a disk issue without having a true prolapse of the fibers all the way out. We can help with either of those different types of scenarios, where we do physical therapy, or different techniques where we can help alleviate the pain of a slipped disk.

How Do I Know I Have A Slipped Disc?

We can tell which levels of your spine have been injured by your symptoms that you tell us. That helps us determine or diagnose exactly which levels have been herniated or prolapsed.

Do you think you have a slipped disk? Call Denver Integrated Spine today and we can assess your case.