Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Neck and Headache Connection- April 2013

April 2013

Hi Everybody Dr. Norris Here. 

Patients with headaches also commonly complain of neck pain.  This relationship is the rule, not the exception and therefore, treatment for headaches must include treatment of the neck to achieve optimum results.  The term, “cervicogenic headaches” has been an accepted term because of the intimate connection between the neck and head for many years.  There are many anatomical reasons why neck problems result in headaches.  Some of these include:

   The first 3 nerves exiting the spine in the upper neck go directly into the head.  They penetrate the muscles at the top of the neck near the attachments to the skull and therefore, any excess pressure on these nerves by the muscles or spinal joints will result in irritation and subsequent pain.

   A nerve in the upper cervical region innervates sensation to the back of the head up to the top.  Therefore, problems located in the upper neck will often result in pain radiating up from the base of the skull over the top of the skull to the eyes and /or face.

   Another nerve that innervates the upper shoulders and muscles in the front of the neck arises from the top levels in the neck.  Injury anywhere in the neck can result in spasm and pain in these large muscle groups.

   There are other interconnections between the nerves of the neck and digestive areas.  These can affect taste, tongue and throat movements, and stomach complaints such as nausea.
When patients seek treatment for their headaches, an examination of the neck, upper back, and cranial nerves is routinely performed for the above reasons.  It is common to find upper cervical movement and vertebral alignment problems present in patients complaining of headaches. Tender points located between the shoulder blades, along the upper shoulders, on the sides of the neck and particularly, at the base of the skull are commonly found.  Pain often radiates from the tender point over the top of the skull when pressure is applied in the upper neck/base of the skull area. Tenderness on the sides of the head, in the temples, over the eyes, and near the jaw joint is also common. Traction or pulling the head to stretch the neck is often quite pain relieving and this is often performed as part of the chiropractic visit.  Chiropractic adjustments applied to the fixated or misaligned vertebra in the upper neck often brings very satisfying relief to the headache sufferer.  Exercises for the neck are also helpful in both reducing headache pain and in preventing occurrences, especially with stress or tension headaches. 

So if you or someone you care about is suffering from headaches have them contact me for a consultation... hopefully I can get them out of pain.

“Because nobody has time for pain!”

Dr. Michael Norris

A Special Thanks From Dr. Norris...
To:  My Patients

I heard something really interesting a few days ago and wanted to pass it along. It was a speaker talking about how every day we have a lot of negative things happen in our lives.  If you watch the news for only 5 minutes, you're probably going to be depressed for a month!
And here's the really interesting observation this speaker made:  He said that we always seem to react to all the bad stuff.  Whenever something goes wrong in our lives (or just seems to go wrong) we make sure everyone knows about it.  And we dwell on it.
On the contrary... when something good happens... most of the time we seem to not even acknowledge it.  And even worse, we ignore the people that do all the good things in our lives while we are concentrating on all the negative things.
That's why I've written this... to comment on and acknowledge something good.

I have no idea why, but recently, we have been experiencing an unusual flood of new patients that have been referred in from patients like you.  It makes me feel great that so many of my patients have the confidence in our office to send in their family and friends.
So, if you have recently recommended my services to a friend or loved one,
I would like to simply say thank you.

Dr. Michael Norris

Chiropractic First?

Washington state workers with a back injury claim between June 2002 and April 2004 were significantly more likely to receive spine surgery within three years (42.7%) than workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor (1.5%). Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, et al. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery. Spine, Dec. 12, 2012.


“America's health care system is in crisis precisely because we systematically neglect wellness and prevention.”
~ Senator To Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.