Headaches, Migraines, Upper cervical dysfunction

Headache causes

Headaches may relate to car accidents, concussions, brain injuries falls, old injuries, migraines or long periods of stress or danger. Posture is also a part of many headache problems.

Most headaches are caused or made worse by a range of problems in muscle motion controls, strength, length, and endurance in the small, one segment muscle system.

Cervical pain, neck problems and Headaches

Often the head doesn’t have a good working position on the neck for sustained positions like looking down for studying, reading, texting, or holding a phone to your ear.

A good resting position may be difficult to find.  You may have to work long hours with an uncomfortable neck.  You may not be able to rest until you’re home.  Sometimes even rest and medicines don’t help.

If the space for the nerves in the neck is compromised enough, you may have symptoms.  This is often called a pinched nerve.  Nerve pain can travel which is also called radicular pain or radiating pain or pain referral. A common place that cervical nerves refer to is the area around the shoulder blade, into the arm, or the upper trap muscles.  This pain may be constant or reactive to certain positions.  It’s often electrical, burning, stabbing, or a gnawing ache.

Eye problems and Headaches

How well your eyes work as a team can be part of headaches.  This is especially critical to consider if there is a chance of having had a traumatic brain injury even if that was a “mild” one. Progressive glasses may cause you to have to look down at an uncomfortable angle.  The eyes themselves may have to re-learn to move and co-ordinate with your head and neck motions.

The foundation for the neck is a movable thoracic spine and ribs.  Strength and normal control of the shoulder blades is also important to correct in some people’s headache patterns.

Upper Cervical Joint Dysfunction, O-A dysfunction

Headaches can also come from problems in the upper cervical joints.  This may also be called O-A or sub-occipital area dysfunction. We spend a lot of time in our days looking down. The base of the head needs to be able to rock in the upper joints on the top of the first bone in the neck. Normal range is about 45 degrees of movement.  When this motion is missing the weight of the head will  be held by the strong muscles on the back of the neck and the small muscles at the base of the head will actually work hard in a short position.  This critical area needs to regain motion.  When the muscles have habitually worked in a shortened position they are more vulnerable to further  tension if there is any kind of fall or snap to the head and neck.

The brain is programmed to keep right and left sides equally balanced.  If the first bone in the neck gets mal-positioned and stays that way, there will be extra work for the smaller muscles at the top of the neck. There is a lot of unconcious brain activity   that co-ordinates muscle tension in the upper cervical area with input from the balance organ in the ears and visual input from the eyes.

Head injuries often disrupt balanced use and focus of the eyes which can be a hidden part of some headache patterns.  Its not uncommon for an eye doctor to report that a person’s vision is okay when  there are undiscovered processing and co-ordinating problems.  The type of eye doctor trained in evaluating eye co-ordination function is a Behavioral Optometrist.

Dizzyness can come from problems in these interlinked systems.