If you frequently suffer from headaches, the problem may be in your neck. As experts in musculoskeletal care, we at Kosak Chiropractic are happy to assist people suffering from blockages in the cervical spine. But many people are unaware of how this may be able to relieve pain ranging from their lower jaw to the top of their head, which is why we wanted to explain what cervicogenic headaches are and how chiropractic can combat them.
Sensation in our faces comes from the trigeminal nerve. It emerges from the cervical spine, or neck region, and branches off to the eyes and forehead, maxilla, and mandible. If there is a compression in the cervical spine, pain may be referred to the trigeminal nerve and we would call it "cervicogenic." Compression could be due to swollen muscles, a herniated disc, or dislocated facet joints, among the more common reasons, and is often the result of whiplash. Pain may also radiate to a shoulder or arm, but will usually be limited to one side of the body.
Although whiplash is the most common cause of cervicogenic headaches, people who work with their heads down, such as hair stylists and craftsmen, and people who have bad posture while typing also risk straining their neck muscles. We’ll use manual examinations, range of motion tests, and imaging scans to determine whether a headache could be cervicogenic. If it is, we may employ chiropractic adjustments of the neck, which use gentle, controlled force to stretch the neck muscles and correct the position of the joints. We will also recommend therapeutic exercises that will strengthen the neck muscles to better support the spine and become less vulnerable to fraying.