HEADACHES AND NECK PAIN
Miami Chiropractor | On-The-Go-Wellness
"My migraines and headaches took over my life. . ."
“My neck pain and headaches prevented me from enjoying time with my family.”
“I reached for my purse in the back seat and with that came shooting, strong, pain that spread all across my neck, into my shoulders and between my shoulder blades. Now I can’t turn or bend my neck at all.”
Do these stories sound familiar?
You’re not alone. It has been estimated that about 30% of American adults suffer from neck pain and almost 80% deal with varying severity of headaches including migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, and others.
Neck pain can be a great nuisance and make it hard to go about your daily activities. Headaches and migraines can make you want to lay in bed in the dark all day long to feel some relief from the constant throbbing sensation.
It’s not uncommon for people suffering from either of these conditions to feel helpless and/or constantly depend on prescription/over the counter drugs to find temporary relief.
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If you are experiencing neck pain you may be feeling:
– Muscle tightness or spasms around your neck
– Limited range of motion of your neck, aka stiff neck
– Pain after holding your head in a position for a long time, such as looking at a computer screen for 8 hours
You may be feeling this way if you are experiencing headaches and migraines:
– Pain around or behind one eye (remove period)
– Pain on one side of your head (remove period)
– Pain that radiates to the face or neck (remove period)
– Dull, aching pain across your forehead (remove period)
– Increased sensitivity to light and sound
– Dull, throbbing pain at the base or the top of your neck where it meets your skull
If you feel any of the above symptoms, keep reading. We explain some causes of neck pain and headaches, how you can treat them, and potentially remove them from your life entirely at our Miami chiropractic clinic.
Neck Pain and Headache Causes
There are 7 spinal vertebrae in the neck, which run from the back of your head to the base of your neck. Between each of the 7 vertebrae are discs, which are a jelly-like substance that help protect the vertebrae, nerves, and facilitate neck mobility. There are also many muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help hold the neck together that are directly connected to the head region.
A vital part of the anatomy of the neck is the spinal cord. The spinal cord has hundreds of thousands of exiting nerves that originate and connect to the neck and travel to the rest of the body. These same nerves that come from the neck travel upwards to the cranium and can be part of the cause of your headaches. Similarly, the connecting muscles and soft tissue can also be contributing to your pain along with the nerves.
As you can probably see, your neck is very complicated. Thus, there can be numerous reasons for your neck pain or headaches. So it is always best to get a proper exam done in order to determine the root cause of your pain or dysfunction.
But How is this Related to Headaches?
As we mentioned above, the head and neck share a direct connection and rely on each other for optimal function of your body. Due to the strain we put on our neck on a daily basis, it is possible that the muscles, discs and/or nerves in the neck can be directly causing your headaches.
The medical field typically answers the problem of headaches with a prescription or over the counter medication, which can have negative side effects. Unfortunately, this does not get to the root cause of the headache. We, as chiropractors, think ‘outside the box’ and will examine the body as a whole to get to the root cause of your headaches.
That being the case, dealing with pain in your neck may relieve your headaches. A Miami chiropractic care clinic can help!
Here are a few causes of neck pain:
As stated above, the neck has many vertebrae, muscles, tendons, and ligaments inside and surrounding it. Your neck pain can be caused by unnatural strains or positions put on it that may also cause upper back pain.
These unnatural strains and positions may be caused by:
– Improper posture, especially if you work a desk jobs and have a workstation that isn’t ergonomically friendly
– Improper sleeping position
– Jerking your neck during intense activities like exercise
– Physical trauma, like a bad fall or whiplash
– Many hours spent staring down at a cell phone or tablet
The above-mentioned causes, and along with others, can lead to more serious conditions like pinched nerves, or herniated discs
Nervous System Issues
Neck pain can also be caused by various nervous system conditions. The neck has thousands of nerves running in and out of it, and sometimes the neck’s spinal vertebrae or discs can harm nerves. Other times the nerves themselves may be dysfunctional.
Often times, pain can be caused by one of the following:
– Pinched nerves. This can be caused by conditions like narrowing of the areas where nerves exit from the spine.
– Herniated discs. Herniated discs, or slipped discs, may put pressure on exiting nerve roots, especially if they move into the area of the spinal cord itself, causing it to flatten. This can be caused by physical trauma such as a car accident, or simply everyday wear and tear.
– Degenerative Discs. This is a condition where the disc between each bone becomes thin and dried out, putting more pressure on the nerves. This can be caused by physical trauma or years of wear and tear, resulting in degenerative disc disease.
Other conditions that may be causing your neck pain include (not limited to):
– Fibromyalgia: a disorder that causes widespread muscle pain, and fatigue.
– Meningitis or other infections
– Referred pain from a heart attack
There was a research article that was published last year about chiropractic care decreasing the need for opioids. Ever since I read this article this statistic stuck with me; people who saw a chiropractor were 64% less likely to use opioids than people who didn’t according to the journal Pain Medicine. 64%. Those are winning odds.
Why does it matter?
Have you ever had a goal so lofty you ended up doing nothing? Or a goal so small you put it off for what seemed like an unsensible amount of time? What’s the point of unnecessary deadlines? Why do people track their weight loss? All these questions relate back to one of my favorite concepts; SMART goals.
Like a good recipe a good goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. The best part about the SMART goals concept is that it’s applicable to just about any area of your life that you’d like to make changes in. It’s a framework, and frameworks are meant to be built on. For our purposes, let’s talk about how SMART goals can be utilized to improve your health.
Damned if you do…damned if you don’t. That’s life for you cupcake! Just kidding, kind of. Sometimes it feels that way though doesn’t it? For instance, strength/resistance training; it’s amazing for you, it’s arguably necessary, but what is up with all these sports injuries?? If it’s good for you, why do people get hurt so often?
It happens. All we can do is try our hardest to avoid these injuries and reap only the benefits of a challenging exercise regimen. Here’s a positive twist on sports injuries though: they’re preventable for the most part. Unlike a car accident or a bad fall, you can PLAN to avoid most sports injuries (not all, that’s just life, sorry) and in most cases, precautionary measures for those of us that aren’t competitive powerlifters or Olympians should be enough to keep us healthy and injury free.
So here are some of the most common strength training injuries and what you can do to prevent them:
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Neck Pain and Headache Treatments
Neck pain may be one of the leading causes for headaches. Therefore, it is important to get to the root cause of where the headache is coming from.
Neck pain itself has many causes and cannot be listed entirely on this page alone. If you have severe neck pain, chronic neck pain, other neck-related conditions, severe upper back pain, headaches or migraines that worry you, consult a medical professional.
Consult your local medical or a local Miami chiropractic physician and they will assess your individual condition and advise you on a neck pain and headache treatment plan.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
Although chiropractors cannot help with all types of neck pain and headaches, they can help with neck pain and headaches that relate to musculoskeletal and nervous system conditions.
To be sure you should call your Miami chiropractor.
Call us at 305-721- 2718 and we’ll be happy to help you figure out why you are experiencing neck pain or headaches and if chiropractic care is right for you. If not, we’ll refer you to a relevant medical professional here in Miami. As a Google 5-star rated Miami chiropractic clinic, On-The-Go-Wellness strives to be the best chiropractor in Miami!
Here are some science-backed and natural (with practically no side-effects) chiropractic treatments that are regularly used to provide clients with headache and neck pain relief: