Headaches & Migraines

Neck related (Cervicogenic) Headaches

Most headaches do not come from the neck and have a different source but there is a very specific type of headache that is called a Cervicogenic headache that originates from the cervical spine (i.e. the neck).

It usually starts in the back of the head and tends to radiate up and around the head and can sometimes travel to the front of the head and the eye, it can be associated with nausea, vomiting, photophobia (aversion to light) and/or phonophobia (aversion to sound). The cause is generally due to dysfunction and pain of the joints and muscles in the neck and can also involve the occipital nerve.


Prevention of Migraine

Migraines can present in a variety of forms and Scientists aren’t sure what causes migraines with aura.

It’s thought that at least two brain chemicals — serotonin and dopamine — play a role, however they are usually brought on by triggers such as a certain food type e.g. chocolate, caffeine, dairy etc. or by environmental factors such as bright light; physical problems e.g. joint or muscle tension and can even be genetic.

There are two main types: Migraine with aura & migraine without aura. An aura typically presents about 15 -30 minutes before the headache, or at the same time and can last for about 5 -20 minutes after the migraine has ended. Aura is characterised as auditory and visual symptoms, some examples are: dizziness, ringing in your ears, seeing zigzag lines and being sensitive to light. A migraine without the aura will not present with these symptoms but you may experience nausea, vomiting, photophobia (aversion to light) and/or phonophobia (aversion to sound); such headaches can be related to the neck and Chiropractic treatment to the joints and muscles of the neck help to keep it mobile and decrease the amount of tension and thus helping to prevent migraines associated to these structures.

Migraines can last between about 4 – 72 hours and usually occur on one side of the head only, other headaches can give you pains on both sides and so if you are suffering with any kind of headaches it is a good idea to get it diagnosed to a certain type so you know how to treat it.

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