Health issues like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are commonplace in our society. Being common doesn’t mean it’s a ‘normal’ part of a healthy person. Similarly, headaches and migraines are common for many people. This doesn’t mean it should be considered ‘normal’ to a person’s health.
Like most things in life, the cause of a headache is different for everyone. Technical classifications, symptomatology and characteristics of the various types of headaches get incredibly detailed. Often, people don’t fit into neat, tidy headache classifications. To simplify things, I’ve found, based on experience and research, headaches are usually caused by 4 things:
1. Irritation of normal nerve flow to the head and neck.
2. Irritation of normal blood flow to the head and neck
3. Muscle tension in the neck causing one or both of the above
4. Chemical toxicity in the body
5. Any combination of the above
The first three causes are almost always related to the health of the cervical spine—especially, the upper portion of the cervical spine. This area of the spine is responsible for the nerves and blood vessels that travel directly to the skull and brain. When there are misalignments in the vertebrae of the neck, the vertebrae stop moving freely. This obstructed movement can directly impinge, or create muscle tension, which in turn irritates the nerves and blood vessels of the spinal cord that travel to and from the skull.
You’ve probably noticed: the human body is a very complex and intelligent mechanism. So much so, when our bodies are inflicted by a physical issue, they respond by creating pain signals—signals designed to catch our attention and insist we focus on whatever’s interfering with our body’s normal function. If this important aspect of the nervous system didn’t occur, we would never be aware of our physical problems!
This is what happens when you experience something as ‘commonplace’ as a headache. A deeper issue causes the nervous system to create a noticeable (and likely painful) alarm bell—a smoke detector, an ‘S.O.S’ signal, a not so gentle nudge—to let you know that a physical issue is compromising your body’s normal function.
When your body sends you a signal in the form of a headache, chances are an underlying cervical spine issue is the source. Chiropractic care can help let your nervous system know, you got the message.
(Click HERE for another good article on headaches)