According to the World Health Organization, 50 to 75% of people have had a headache in the last year. Not only are headaches common, an inconvenience, and uncomfortable, but they can be debilitating. Negatively impacting a normal lifestyle, headaches can diminish production, performance, and mood; and escalate irritability, stress, and absence of daily activity.
WHAT IT IS
Headaches can happen for many reasons which makes it difficult to know what type of a headache you have and the cause. Each type of headache is treated differently, which is why an accurate diagnosis is critical.
Headaches are a painful and disabling feature of a small number of primary headache disorders.
Primary headache disorders are namely migraine, tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches, and cluster headaches. Because we treat musculoskeletal disorders, the information below is most pertinent to headaches that are related to the spine, namely cervicogenic headaches (CH) and tension headaches.
CHs associate with neck problems. Cervicogenic (generated from cervical spine) headaches are head pain from poor neck mechanics and joint movements. Tension headaches are closely related but are defined as headaches originating from muscular tension of the neck and shoulder girdle. Dr. Annas at Nexus Spine & Sport will take you through necessary tests to determine the origins and create a treatment plan from there.
Posture plays a critical role regarding neck pain, which can cause pain in the head region, triggering a headache. American culture in the 21st century puts excessive stress on our joints. Technology, desk jobs, and sleeping habits — to name a few — influence headaches. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments of our neck are pain sensitive and can send symptoms to other areas of the body. The postures and stresses we hold our neck and shoulder girdle into for hours a day are micro traumas, leading to injuries and headaches over time. Headaches can decrease quality of life and work productivity. Over time, the structures will begin to adapt to this poor posture, perpetuating the problem and poor movement patterns.