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Headaches and Neck Pain

Several conditions may be related to headaches or neckaches. Here are some examples of the conditions we are dealing with. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, so for more details, contact us.

CERVICAL DISC HERNIATION

Presentation

  • Neck pain, usually affecting one side, accentuated by movement.
  • May be associated with pain, numbness or weakness in one arm.
  • Spasm of neck muscles possible.
  • Pain aggravated by exertion, sneezing or coughing.
  • Without proper treatment, this condition can develop into a chronic and recurring problem.
Causes
  • The disc is a soft structure that acts as an intervertebral pad. Round in shape, it consists of a gelatinous substance surrounded by resistant ligaments. Following weakness and cracking of the ligament ring, occurring gradually or suddenly, the nucleus can infiltrate and exert pressure on the surrounding structure, including the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Trauma accumulated in the neck.
  • Often follows a minor incident, especially bending.
  • Often have a history of neck pain.
  • Family history of disc problems.
  • Underlying conditions affecting the neck
  • Neck surgeries in the past.
Treatments

Initial treatment
  • Control of pain and inflammation using neurocryotherapy and kinesio taping, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants or analgesics.
  • Rest and ice (20 minutes / 2 hours)
Conservative treatment
  • Vertebral manipulation and traction.
  • Soft tissue work (Active Release Techniques and Graston)
  • Exercises
Drastic treatment
  • Surgery; result varies from person to person, but rarely 100% better.
Prognostic

This condition is usually treated in 6 weeks with appropriate conservative treatments (80% improves in 6 weeks). On the other hand, if one waits several weeks before the beginning of the treatment, this one can be longer and the patient can preserve sequelae (persistent pain, recurrence, etc.).

WARNING ! If numbness or weakness in the arm becomes worse or incontinence problems occur, see your doctor immediately.

HEADACHES

The causes of pain

A headache can be temporary. It manifests itself because we are overworked or we have "celebrated" too much and it generally disappears as soon as we resume our normal activities. Often, a little rest or exercise in the open air is enough to chase away the pain. These headaches are not disturbing. On the other hand, very painful headaches that come up frequently must be taken seriously and treated with care.

The causes of headaches or migraines are numerous. They can be caused by dilated blood vessels, muscle spasms of the scalp, sinusitis, vision problems, hypertension, irritation or inflammation of the meninges (the brain envelope), irritation of nerves or an increase in the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid in which the brain and spinal cord bathe.

Another major cause of headaches is neck trauma, which can lead to mechanical irritation of the nerve roots. Injuries in the neck area are not always due to falls, collisions or serious accidents. A trauma can develop because joints are constantly being asked for or they are unjustly. Athletes are subject to these traumas, as are construction workers. For their part, truckers or secretaries who have a bad posture may also have these problems. In fact, no one is safe from chronic headaches.

The path of pain

The pain experienced during headaches or migraines comes from the trigeminal nerve and the first three cervical nerve roots. When you have a headache, it is not the brain that is painful because the brain tissue is not sensitive.

When do they appear?
  • Headaches or migraines can occur when:
  • Long visual effort (eg, read for several hours)
  • A pronounced tiredness, where we take a long time to rest
  • The consumption of certain foods (eg chocolate)
  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Stress and tension
  • A hormonal change
  • Menstruation in some women
  • A change in the concentration of certain chemicals in the nervous system (eg serotonin)
The role of the chiropractor

The chiropractor can prevent or treat headaches related to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. It will intervene effectively to treat the cause and not just the symptoms. He will use a natural method to restore mobility to the vertebrae and relieve muscle tension.

For whoever wants to avoid, as far as possible, drugs and surgery, chiropractic is a natural choice!

CERVICAL FACET SYNDROME

Description

  • Painful back pain resulting from an injury to the facet joints or spine disks.
  • May manifest as stiffness in the neck or severe neck pain that may radiate into the arm or head.
  • Without proper treatment, this condition can develop into a chronic and recurring problem.
Causes
  • The pain comes from irritation and local inflammation of one or more facet joints. The nerve may be involved as it exits and create a pain that radiates. An injury to the disc of the column may also be present.
  • Facet syndrome is due to facet joint cartilage injury resulting from excessive movement, particularly in rotation and extension.
  • This irritation can be caused by different types of incidents:
    • false movements
    • rapid lifting of a load
    • fall or trauma
    • poor prolonged posture
    • work or repetitive activity in adverse conditions
    • increased lumbar lordosis eg pregnant women, obese people
    • osteoarthritis
Treatments

  • Ice (20 minutes / 2 hours), rest and complementary therapies such as neurocryotherapy and kinesio taping are always used to reduce inflammation and intense pain.
  • Avoid activities that accentuate pain (hyperextension and rotation)
  • Once pain is controlled, spinal manipulation is the most effective treatment for this type of problem. They allow to restore movement and decompress the joint.
  • Soft tissue work (Active Release Techniques and Graston)
  • Strengthening the associated musculature.
  • Stretch of the associated musculature.
  • Anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and analgesics as needed
  • Facial injections can provide some relief but do not solve the basic problem in the joint.
  • Surgery, which involves fusing two or more vertebrae, is rarely necessary.
Prognostic

With the help of manipulations and favorable conditions, we can see a noticeable improvement in 14 days and a remission in 4 to 5 weeks. On the other hand, if one waits several weeks before the beginning of the treatment, this one can be longer and the patient can preserve sequelae (slight persistent pain, recurrence, weakness with the neck, etc.).

WARNING ! If you develop numbness or weakness in the upper limb or incontinence problems, see your doctor immediately.

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Description

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative phenomenon attacking the cartilaginous aspect of the joints. Although this degeneration is only the fact of age, it can cause pain in some.

Osteoarthritis is a very common phenomenon in the population, especially in the over 50s. It can still start between 20 and 30 years. Men and women are affected in equal proportions.

Presentation
  • Joint stiffness
  • Decreased movements
  • Decreased flexibility
  • Noise in the joints
Favorite sites
  • Spine
  • Knees and hips (body weight)
Treatments
  • Joint manipulations and soft tissue work (Active Release Techniques and Graston) to improve mobility and reduce scar tissue
  • kinesio taping.
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Heat (morning stiffness)
  • Changing activities that are associated with pain
  • Medications (anti-inflammatories) as needed
  • Injections of cortisone as needed
  • Very rare surgical procedures

Book an appointment now

The Chiromedic Center offers more than 20 different specialties

If pain persists and you need help, our multidisciplinary team will be able to get you back on track quickly.