Headaches affect virtually everyone at some point in their life. They can take different forms, occur infrequently, or as a more recurring event. While not usually caused by anything life threatening, they can be a painful, even debilitating condition, and send millions looking for headache relief.
A variety of headache types exist, and they include tension, migraine, sinus, hormone, cluster and cervicogenic. Headaches are often divided into two categories, primary and secondary. Those listed as primary are headaches whose pain is the illness. These include tension and migraine, and account for approximately 94% of headaches. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are those whose pain is a symptom of another illness or issue, such as sinusitis.
Cervicogenic headaches are a genuine pain in the neck
Cervicogenic headaches are a common type of secondary headache that has its origins in the neck. Situated at the top of the spine, are vertebrae C1, C2 and C3, generally referred to as the upper cervical. Subluxation in the upper cervical spine was not considered to be a cause for headaches until an Australian researcher changed the nature of headache research.
Dr. Nikolai Bogduk, a respected researcher and a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Newcastle in Australia, has been an innovator in the field of headache research for over twenty years. In 1995, he published a study that has had a profound impact on headache research.
In “Anatomy and physiology of headache,” Dr. Bogduk concluded that headaches shared a relationship with the neck. He determined that every headache shares a common trait, which is abnormal nerve function in the upper cervical spine.
Within the upper cervical is a region of the spinal cord called the trigeminocervical nucleus. This region is the convergence point of sensory nerve tracts from the trigeminal nerve in the brain and the upper cervical and now is often referred to as “headache quarters” of the brainstem.
Dr. Bogduk concluded that all “headaches are mediated by the trigeminocervical nucleus, and are initiated by noxious stimulation of the endings of the nerves…, by irritation of the nerves themselves, or by disinhibition of the nucleus.” In other words, he connects all headaches to disturbances to the nerves within and around the trigeminocervical nucleus.
The study concludes by advising sufferers to get evaluated for irregularities in the neck and posture to address the cause and prevent recurring issues. Dr. Bogduk has continued to publish articles related to his study of cervicogenic headaches and remains an authority on the issue.
Drug-free headache relief with Chiropractic at Pangea Chiropractic
If you are experiencing frequent or recurring headaches, the cause could lie in your neck. Visit Pangea Chiropractic for an evaluation to see how we can correct any issues causing your headaches. Rather than treating the symptoms with medicine, contact Pangea Chiropractic for headache relief with chiropractic at its source.
Anatomy and Physiology of Headache by Bogduk.pdf