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Hainesport Chiropractor Reveals Tips For Long Lasting Headache Relief

Headaches are one of those inevitable things in life.  The question isn’t, Will you get a headache?  But rather when was your last headache?

Of course some people are more prone to headaches than others but whether you have one headache per month or 12 plus headaches per month you should be knowledgeable about some home relief techniques to help you better manage them.

The diagnosis list for headaches is HUGE!  That’s because there are a number of potential causes of headaches.

So right now, I would like to share with you more information about one of the most common types of headaches called cervicogenic headaches.  Cervicogenic headaches are the result of problems with the soft tissues and/or joints of the neck region (what I refer to structural integrity dysfunction).

Today I would like to share 3 key points about structural integrity and headaches that will take you one step closer to finally finding headache RELIEF.

1.    I would like to show you how problems with your neck (i.e. structural integrity) can directly contribute to headaches.

2.    How to help you identify if your neck is a possible contributing factor to your headaches.

3.    What you can do on your own to improve the structural integrity and functioning of your neck to help eliminate headaches (if they are a result of a neck problem).

Sound like a plan?

Let’s get started…

You may be asking how can problems with my structural integrity contribute to my headaches?

I hope at this point that you have been asking yourself what the heck is structural integrity anyway.

Great question and I knew that you were going to ask that.

Structural integrity in its most simple form is the relationship between your posture, joints, nerves, muscles and connective tissues in your body and how they function together.

And in the case of cervicogenic headaches the first place where structural integrity needs to be evaluated is your neck or cervical spine. A powerful area when it comes to the elimination of headaches.

Your neck, when looking from a side view, should have a natural curve to it on which the head sits on top of. This natural curve balances a 10-12 pound weight on it (average weight of the human head) and acts like a shock absorber that dissipates the stress of everyday activities on the joints, muscles and nerves in the neck. This natural curve helps to balance your head over the rest of your body which also minimizes the amount of work the muscles in the head and neck region have to do. The bones or joints in the neck should also be able to move freely and without restriction. Also within the head and neck region is a dense collection of nerves and blood vessels that go to your head which should not be irritated as a result of joints not functioning properly or due to tightness of surrounding muscles. Lastly the area of your spine that transitions from the head into your neck is like a fuse box. It’s a junction where the brain is turning into your spinal cord which then gives off nerve roots that go to your head and neck. It’s a very important area for overall health and well-being as well as plays a key role with migraines.

A loss, also known as straightening, of the “normal” curve in your neck will lead to dysfunction or restriction of the joints, especially at the transition point between the head and neck that I mentioned above, in the neck (what we call subluxation in the chiropractic world). This causes the muscles in the area to become tenser and when you couple this with joint dysfunction the result is irritation of the spinal nerves that go to your head which can ultimately result in headaches in those individuals that are predisposed.

Neck problems can cause headaches

Neck problems can cause headaches

This clinical finding of loss of a neck curve leading to joint dysfunction, muscle tightness and nerve irritation is a very common cause of cervicogenic headaches and is something that absolutely needs to be evaluated thoroughly and properly in order to determine if this is something that could be the root cause of your headaches.

For the sake of time and not losing you this is a very simplified overview of a complex problem which demonstrates just how alterations in your structural integrity may result in headaches. But this explanation sums up very nicely how problems with your posture, joint function, muscle integrity and nervous system function can lead to cervicogenic headaches.

Now that you see how headaches can be the result of altered structural integrity you may be wondering how you can identify if your neck is a possible contributing factor to your headaches.

Let’s explore this further…

This list is not exhaustive and you should always be evaluated by a trained professional but some of these items will give you a clue as to whether or not your neck may be part of your headache problem and help you determine if you should investigate this further.

1. Do you have poor posture? Have a friend or family member look at you from a side view while standing and see if a line drawn from the center of your ear falls in front of the middle of your shoulder. If the line falls in front of your shoulder your posture likely isn’t good and this could be putting undue stress into your head and neck.

2. Do you work at a desk or computer?

3. Have you been in an automobile accident?

4. Do your neck and the muscles at the base of your head feel tight, stiff or sore?

5. Do you have arthritis in your neck?

6. Do you clench or grind your teeth or are your jaw muscles tight, sore and tired?

7. Does your jaw click or pop?

8. Do you sleep on your stomach?

9. Does rubbing your neck or using ice/heat help?

10. Have you had x-rays of your neck that reveal a loss of the normal curve in your neck?

If you answered YES to one or more of the above then chances are that structural dysfunction may be contributing to your headaches and you should be further evaluated by professional that specializes in the treatment of headaches if you are interested in longer lasting relief.

Now that you can see how problems with your neck can contribute to headaches and what you can look and feel for to identify if your neck is a causative factor of your headaches you have to next look at what you can do to improve your structural integrity and the functioning of your neck to help eliminate headaches (if they are a result of a neck problem).

Again this list is not an exhaustive list but will provide you with some tips and techniques you can begin to implement immediately which will help you to improve your situation.

1. If you sit at a desk, take breaks every 20-30 minutes from your seated desk posture, from looking down, or using technology to open up your posture. Set a timer for 20 minutes and place it across the room which will force you to get up from the seated position and walk over to turn it off.

2. Set your desk environment up ergonomically correct to minimize stress on your neck (so much to look at but start with looking at your monitor height, keyboard position, chair height, use of a headset for phone, etc.)

3. Practice postural re-education exercises (there are so many helpful exercises, not enough time here to get into them).

4. Practice stress reducing activities, like deep breathing, yoga, meditating, etc., especially if you carry your stress in your neck/shoulder and jaws.

5. Sleep on your side or back, NOT your stomach, with one supportive pillow to keep your neck in a neutral posture and to minimize stress on your spinal joints.

6. Follow up with a physician who specializes in properly evaluating and treating headaches (adjustments, soft tissue work, posture rehab, home care, prevention etc.) in order to restore proper functioning to your spinal area and to ultimately assist with eliminating your headaches.

With today’s modern demands like sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, working on computers, cell phones, etc., I am seeing adverse changes to one’s structural integrity playing more and more of a key role in contributing to headaches.

Like so many people I see in the office, many folks find long lasting relief from their headaches by improving the structural integrity of their head and neck region. When your problem is properly identified and properly corrected the results can be amazing.

Well I hope this provided you with tremendous value and some new insights into achieving long lasting relief from your headaches.

As always, I hope this information has served you and will take you one step closer to your desired health goals.

Did you like this information? If so, please be sure to let me know what you liked by sending me an email at or leave me a comment on Facebook. I would love to keep the conversation going.

I also have health tips and informative videos over on YouTube. And if you enjoyed this information please forward it along to your friends and family.  More people need good solid information so that they can make informed decisions about their health.

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2 Join the Conversation

  1. Carol Trimmer says
    Apr 08, 2016 at 5:45 PM

    Great article. I got 7 out of 10 which may explain why I have so many headaches! Love your suggestions to improve and will implement #1 today. Would love to know more about postural re-education exercises. Thanks

    • says
      Apr 12, 2016 at 12:44 PM

      Hello Carol! Glad you found value in the article. Headaches can be challenging but with a little investigating their source can often be identified and properly taken care of. Stay well!!

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