A headache is more than a ache in your head. It involves other parts of your body, too. At the core of your problem may be your spine, which often gets pushed out of alignment by poor posture, injury or bad sleeping habits. This may eventually lead to a tension or migraine headache. Certain substances, such as caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes, can also contribute to migraine headaches.
Your spine’s three natural curves gives your body flexibility it needs to withstand stress. Good posture keeps your spinal curves aligned. When your cervical curve (your neck) is aligned, surrounding structures, like your spinal nerves, perform their jobs more smoothly because they aren’t stressed or irritated.
Tension headaches are the most common kind of headache you can get. Although stress and fatigue can make them worse, or trigger the onset of pain, a tension headache often starts with misaligned vertebrae. This misalignment may irritate a spinal nerve, setting in motion other physical problems, like tightening muscles, and causing a stead, “viselike” pain of a tension headache.
Migraines often begin with misalignment either restricting blood flow into your head or irritating a spinal nerve. This nerve irritation upsets your autonomic nervous system, which controls unconscious functions like the narrowing and expansion of your blood vessels. Foods that narrow blood vessels or expand them can also cause migraines.
If you are having problems with either tension headaches or migraines give us a call we can help.
What is a headache?
Headaches are the body’s alarm system. You body is telling you something’s out of balance. Pain relievers may temporarily turn off the alarm switch, but usually don’t put out the fire. Your chiropractor, however, can diagnose your type of headache, often tension or migraine, treat its underlying physical causes, and help you learn how to prevent headaches in the future. Continue reading
Years of stress and too much use and abuse can cause your spine to degenerate, or wear out. Joint inflammation (arthritis) may result. Joints may also lose alignment and discs can wear down. Any may start to feel pain and stiffness.
In the textbook normal spine, the disc spaces are equal and there are no visible signs of degenerative changes.
Three Phases of Degeneration
In Phase I of spinal degeneration, the alignment of the spine is altered however the disc spaces may remain normal. Symptoms and degenerative changes may be present. Nerve tissues become irritated.
In Phase II of the spinal degeneration, the alignment continues to deteriorate, and disc narrowing is present. Degenerative changes progress and bone spurs are present. Nerve tissues are irritated and begin to atrophy1. Continue reading
Sciatica describes persistent pain felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, down through the buttock, and into the lower leg. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, running from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. It controls the muscles of the lower leg and provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and the soles of the feet.
Although sciatica is a relatively common form of low-back and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is actually a set of symptoms—not a diagnosis for what is irritating the nerve root and causing the pain.
Sciatica occurs most frequently in people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Most often, it tends to develop as a result of general wear and tear on the structures of the lower spine, not as a result of injury.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
The most common symptom associated with sciatica is pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, from the lower back and down one leg; however, symptoms can vary widely depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected. Some may experience a mild tingling, a dull ache, or even a burning sensation, typically on one side of the body. Continue reading