HEADACHE OR SKULL PAIN...
IS THERE REALLY A DIFFERENCE?
I have a pain on my skull or scalp, which is slightly worse if pressure is applied. It is the same sensation that I used to get as a child when I had my hair pulled back into a pony tail, but I haven't worn my hair like that for about 15 years now. It's a patch on the top right of my skull/scalp. Does anyone have any idea what this is? - Franniesh from Wellshpere
FASCIA is the thin, cellophane-like membrane that surrounds all muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and bones (it goes by different names depending on the tissue it surrounds). Part of what makes Fascia so unique is that it is not only the most abundant CONNECTIVE TISSUE in the body, it is arguably the single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body as well. Just like other soft tissues, Fascia has the potential to be injured and form MICROSCOPIC SCAR TISSUE. Add to this the fact that Fascia is so thin that it cannot be properly imaged with even the most technologically advanced imaging techniques (CT / MRI), and you can see the potential of being swept away by CHRONIC PAIN'S PERFECT STORM.
CUT-AWAY IMAGES OF THE HAIRLINE ON TOP OF THE SKULL
The arrows in the images are pointing to the Galea Aponeurotica, which is also known as the Epicranial Aponeurosis (the thin layer of Fascia that surrounds the skull). This is extremely pain-sensitive tissue and can become "TETHERED" when injured.
While in his early teen years, he developed "Skull Pain" a few months after a fairly serious injury to his face (a broken zygomatic arch) and subsequent surgery. Over the course of 5 years, Joe had been to all sorts of doctors (many psychiatrists and neurologists), a plethora of tests, and taken a large array of drugs --- many being "psych" drugs and meds from THE BIG FIVE. He even ended up working on a farm for 6 months as part of a program developed to help people thought to be dealing with Psycho-Somatic illnesses (i.e. --- problems that the experts believe are all in their head). Finally, another neurologist ran a SPECT SCAN and told the family that Joe had no signs of mental illness or organic disease process in his brain --- something he had been trying to convince them of for years.
I told Joe that while ONE TREATMENT would probably not be enough to completely solve his problem, he would know whether or not our approach would help him. He had Fascial Adhesions all over his head, neck, and face that were so bad, you could hear them 'CREAKING' as he moved. I broke the adhesions (different than craniosacral techniques), and the difference was immediate and significant (I will warn you that he looked like he had been at least a couple rounds with Mike Tyson --- HERE). I received this email a few days later.
Dr. Schierling, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help with this. For all the things I've tried over the past 5 years, this is the only thing that has helped -- so it gives me a hope that I did not have before. I do feel different after the work you did. I can't say it is 100% gone, but the fact that it is improved is all I've been looking for. Thank you again and I will let you know how things go.
"Dear Dr. Schierling, I wanted to thank you for helping my son 'Joe'. In the past few years Joe had seen numerous doctors, had several brain scans and was given all types of medications. We spent thousands and thousands of dollars, all this to try to find some relief, yet nothing seemed to help him. He planned his trip without me knowing, and called me after he returned to tell me all about it. He spoke so highly of you. He said you were the only doctor that really understood him. He found relief with your treatment. Thank you for giving him hope and for being so kind. I hope he will be able to visit you again soon. With warm regards, Joe's Mom."
I can't remember if I saw Joe one more time or two, but regardless, as I was working early as is my habit (I'm usually writing / studying by 4:00 am, before starting with patients at 8:30); as the sun started coming up I noticed a car in the parking lot, with someone asleep behind the wheel.