Head and Neck

Tension Headaches

Most “migraines” aren’t true migraines at all.  They’re different kinds of headaches called tension headaches.  Tension headaches, or cervicogenic headaches, which literally means “starting from the neck”, are typically caused by altered biomechanics in the neck.  Just because someone can move their head around and bend their neck doesn’t mean they have properly functioning necks.  The alignment of the bones, as well as how the muscles pull on those bones, play a huge role in not only neck pain, but also in headaches, both in frequency and intensity. This condition commonly results in chronic headaches.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dull aching or throbbing sensation
  • Tightness or a feeling of pressure across the back of your head, the sides of your head, or your forehead
  • Pain behind or just above the eyes
  • Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
  • Occasionally, loss of appetite

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common joint disorder, is a result of the wearing away of cartilage between bone joints. As the condition progresses, the cartilage dissolves causing bones to grind together and resulting in pain and stiffness. OA most commonly affects the hands, feet, spine, and the weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. The two types of OA are primary and secondary. While OA is most commonly caused by metabolic conditions (i.e., acromegaly), problems in anatomy (i.e., being “bow-legged”), injury, and/or inflammatory disorders (i.e., septic arthritis), it also can occur without previous injury or medical condition.

Symptoms may include:

  • Grating of the joint when in motion
  • Joint pain in wet weather
  • Swollen joints
  • Limited movement of joints
  • Morning stiffness

Neck Pain

The neck is one of the least stabilized areas of the body.  Because of this, it is constantly under various stresses that can ultimately cause alignment of the bones in the neck as well as the tensions of the muscles around the neck to not be quite right.  For example, having a job requiring you to sit at a desk all day, sports like football or even cheerleading, or even sleeping wrong can cause all sorts of dysfunction in the neck.  This dysfunction can cause muscles to spasm, nerves to be pinched, or can even cause arthritis down the road.  Your neck is constantly under the stress of the weight of the head as well as how your body carries your head.  Neck pain is very common and is typically a result of the years of biomechanical problems someone has either neglected or hasn’t noticed.

Symptoms may include:

  • Tingling or burning sensation
  • Dull aching or sharp pain
  • Weakness in arms or hands
  • Tension or knots in muscles
  • Pain may come on slowly or all of a sudden

Whiplash

Whiplash injuries can occur even if you’re not in a vehicle.  You can also get whiplash from things like bouncing the wrong way on a trampoline, falling awkwardly, or getting tackled.  The most common way to get whiplash, however, is in a car accident.  Even a fender bender at 5 miles per hour can be enough to cause a whiplash injury.  Whiplash happens when the head and neck go through a rapid acceleration or deceleration from it’s previous state.  It is characterized by injury to the bone as well as soft tissue within the neck.  Typically, if untreated by a qualified chiropractor, whiplash injuries can lead to permanent degeneration in the neck.

Symptoms may include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Low back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Pain in the arm and/or hand
  • Numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Ringing in ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Irritability
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tiredness