Headaches are one of the most common complaints people complain of in this country. Today's dependence on computers has made matters even worse. There are many causes of headaches. Our office looks at evaluating the factors which may contribute to a person experiencing headaches. One of the first questions that is asked during the consultation tries to determine what postural stresses are caused in a person's day (see ergonomic evaluation). Does the patient where glasses and if so when was the last time the eyes were examined. Chiropractic is very effective in helping many patients with their headaches. Usually during the examination of the neck, muscles in the upper part of neck (suboccipital) will be tender to the touch along with spasm. Typically there will also be restricted motion and often pain on the end range of motion. If an x-ray is taken there will more often than not be a misalignment of either the occiput (base of skull) with the first cervical vertebra or between the first and second cervical vertebra.
This upper cervical spine misalignment and suboccipital spasm can put pressure on the spinal nerves, irritating them causing the headaches. There are two suboccipital muscles (superior oblique and rectus capitus posterior minor) that connect directly with the dura matter (the protective outer layer of tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Tension on the dura matter can cause headaches as well. Utilizing a soft tissue management system called Active Release Technique the pressure can be removed off the dura. To correct the spinal misalignment a procedure called spinal manipulation (the chiropractic adjustment) is performed. There are screening tests (George's and the Vascular Tension Test) performed prior to the adjustment to ensure the safety of the patient. In recent years there has been some negative media regarding patient's suffering from strokes after spinal manipulation. The few actual cases recording in the literature were performed by physicians without the proper training that did perform the proper screening tests.
As a progressive health care provider we work very closely with other health care providers to ensure the patient receives the best care possible. In the event a second opinion is needed to evaluate TMJ (problems with the jaw joint) dysfunction a common cause of headaches we have a dentist and orthodontist we work closely with. We also have close relations with several imaging and diagnostic centers if a further work-up is warranted.
Since 1986 we have had great success in treating people with headaches.
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