HEADACHES AND DECREASED MOTION
OF THE CERVICAL SPINE (NECK)
According to a 1991 study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Tension Headaches account for a whopping 90% of all headaches. The pharmaceutical industry is making a killing on this common problem, with annual sales of these various products reaching into the billions of dollars. Fortunately, the past two decades has produced a great deal of scientific research telling us not only that over the counter pain meds are far more dangerous than we have historically been led to believe, but that there are effective alternatives to these drugs. There is a significant body of evidence (both empirical and anecdotal) for manipulative therapies such as CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS being able to people who struggle with chronic headaches.
Although the medical community likes to claim that Tension Headaches are brought on by things like lack of sleep, poor posture, LOW BLOOD SUGAR, eyestrain, or any number of others (stress is the most common scapegoat), this is not completely accurate. Although any of the things listed above can trigger a Tension Headache, I would argue that the underlying cause of the headaches frequently has to do with restricted joint motion. And while it is certainly true that stress can cause the muscular tension that in turn causes headaches, it is also true that the majority of us are under all sorts of daily stress, yet do not struggle with chronic headaches. It's sort of like trying to blame germs for disease. If germs were really the source of all disease, why won't everyone in a third grade classroom get sick when the flu makes the rounds? There are other factors at play. But I regress --- we are talking about ROM and headaches.
This has to do with the fact that so many Chronic Headache Patients are (unknowingly) struggling with FASCIAL ADHESIONS. Imagine for a moment what would happen if modern medical technology was unable to image the most pain-sensitive tissue in the body. Now imagine that this pain-sensitive tissue was found literally everywhere in the body --- one of the more abundant of the COLLAGEN-BASED CONNECTIVE TISSUES. This is exactly what is happening. The single most pain-sensitive tissue in the body (Fascia) cannot be imaged with current MRI technology. What does this mean for you? It means that when you go to the doctor(s) / specialist(s) to find out why you are having headaches, you will likely be told (after having gone through $25,000 worth of tests) that there is nothing really wrong with you --- other than, "Well Mrs. Smith, you just aren't as young as you used to be." Or, "Gee Mrs. Jones, no one really knows why some people get headaches and other people do not." Or the newest favorite, "You'll just have to blame your parents for those bad genes they passed on to you."
CERVICAL RANGES OF MOTION CAN BE DECEIVING
(A Case History)
For whatever reason (a hunch maybe; or maybe just experience), I checked her for Scar Tissue despite any real objective findings that would lead me in this direction. Needless to say, she had some of the most brutal Scar Tissue / Fascial Adhesions I have ever seen --- huge tears running one on top of the other from the very top of her neck clear down into the middle part of her back. After treating her, I rechecked Ranges of Motion. When she turned her head to the side, her nose was actually back behind her shoulder bilaterally. She felt an instant relief even though her Range of Motion was technically 'OK' to begin with. This is just another reminder that everyone is different as far as what a 'normal' range of motion is, and there are few hard and fast rules when it comes to treating patients (HERE).