Tension Headaches

Chiropractic management of tension headaches usually begins with a thorough history and range of motion tests comparing motion from side to side. An inability to rotate the head as far one way as another may indicate restricted joints in the upper cervical spine. Recent dissections on human cadavers have shown a direct connect between a small muscle in the upper neck called the rectus capitus posterior to the dura mater or covering of the spinal cord. This important discovery helped form a direct link between the joints and muscles in the upper neck and the development of headaches. Essentially spasms in the rectus capitus posterior can lead to increased pressure on the spinal cord via the dura mater. This pressure can lead to compromised circulation and nerve function in the upper neck producing headaches.

Chiropractic adjustments to restore normal biomechanics to the upper neck and back can help relax the muscles in the area and lead to headache relief. Deep massage to the sub-occipital muscles, acupuncture, rehab and physiotherapy can assist in the recovery process. Several studies show benefits with the use of cervical spine manipulation and/or mobilization including a 1996 RAND Study.

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