Chiropractic & Headaches

HEADACHES

Chiropractic treatment for headaches is very common in the U.S. Headaches are a leading cause of work place absenteeism and loss of work place productivity in modern industrialized western societies. Sitting behind the computer terminal 8 hours a day is a major contributing cause of excess muscle tension and adaptive muscle shortening between the shoulder blades, the cervical spine and the base of the skull. A quick anatomy review will help to set the foundation of this article.

The spine is composed of 24 freely mobile vertebrae, 7 Cervical, 12 Thoracic, and 5 Lumbar. If a cervical vertebra misaligns, especially in the upper cervical region, the patient is a likely candidate for headaches and neck pain. If a lower cervical vertebra is misaligned it may refer or radiate pain into the upper extremity or extremities. Anatomists have recently discovered an intimate connection between the Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor “a muscle which attaches from the base of the skull and the first Cervical vertebra” and the Dura mater. The clinical significance of this is the Dura mater is that it is the outer covering of the spinal cord which can be the mechanism responsible for Cervicogenic headaches. Myofascial release is another modality utilized by Chiropractors to lengthen shortened muscles which are likely in spasm. This is often an effective technique when applied to the suboccipital muscles of a patient with headaches. The Chiropractor whom treats headaches and neck pain typically uses manual treatment to address the Cervical vertebrae and muscles of the suboccipital region, especially the Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor. Dr.Mininsohn utilizes these above treatment methods in the Brick office of Advanced Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is also a licensed Acupuncturist and has used Acupuncture in conjunction with Chiropractic and Myofascial Release to successfully treat headaches.

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