As a chiropractor I see patients suffering from headaches literally every week. Often when I ask what precipitated the headaches or if there is a certain cause they are aware of the answer is “No, it just came out of nowhere.” Or the famous “I must have slept wrong”.
Now anyone who suffers from regular headaches knows just how debilitating the pain can be. And the awful feeling when the headache continues for not just a day but multiple days in a row. They almost seem to get worse and worse until finally the person breaks down and takes medication or in the case of the people who come see me, get the neck adjusted.
In almost every single case of headaches I see the neck exam reveals joints in the neck are painful to the touch, are not moving properly and often refer pain up into the head. This is the resulting injury from a subluxation, or a joint in the neck that is out of alignment and therefore causing abnormal movement of the joints in the neck.
When a joint is not working properly it puts undue stress on not only the joint involved but the muscles in the neck and in upper back and head. When the condition persists over days, weeks or months it gradually worsens until one day the headache “just comes out of nowhere.” The seeds of the headache have been growing for quite some time but have just now started to present with actual symptoms.
Most people will have some degree of subluxation in the spine after 2-3 weeks from their last adjustment, assuming they are being adjusted at all. If the condition remains untreated after about 8 weeks (2 months) some of the damage to the spine from the lack of normal motion can become permanent. This can present as degeneration of cartilage between the joints, thinning of the disc between the actual vertebrae or the accumulation of calcium deposits where there is bone pressing on bone which eventually becomes arthritis.
The headaches are simply a beacon that something is not right and needs correcting. Regular chiropractic care corrects spinal subluxations that lead to the accumulation of wear and tear on the spinal joints that ultimately results in the headaches. Addressing this underlying issue not only resolves the headaches but sets the person up for a healthy spine now and in the future.