The Anatomy of the Neck
Firstly, if you are reading this, you’re likely looking for answers to what is causing your frequent headaches. Am I right? Headaches: is the cause inside your neck? Although headaches and migraines can be caused by many different factors, the problem starts in the neck (cervical spine). There are seven vertebrae and eight cervical nerves that make up the cervical spine. That is to say, the cervical nerves control your head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands. Also, the nerves send electrical impulses which are responsible for sensation, movement and function. Also, when enough pressure is applied to a nerve; sensation, movement and function can be altered. This shows up as numbness, tingling, pain, inflammation, decreased range of motion, neck pain and headaches. If the pressure continues, these symptoms can become chronic.
…Connect the dots between posture, headaches and neck pain
Poor Posture and Headaches
Cervicogenic headaches (literally meaning headaches caused by the neck) are due to nerves getting pinched by tight muscles through which they travel as they make their way to the scalp. However, to connect the dots between posture, headaches and neck pain, it’s necessary to look at what happens to the first seven vertebrae of the spine. We do this while you sit in a hunched over position. The sternocleidomastoid muscle that runs from the back of your ear to the front of the neck becomes stretched, while the muscles in the back of the head have to strain to compensate for balance. Also, this puts pressure on the occipital nerve, which is positioned at the small hollow at the base of the skull. This is a major sensory nerve and a direct pathway by which neck pain can travel straight to your head.
In addition, you may experience facial pain along with the headache and neck pains when the trigeminal nerve is involved- this could be signs of trigeminal neuralgia. Also, the spinal accessory nerve may interact with the upper three cervical nerve roots, resulting in cervicogenic headaches. Call our office at (619) 313-5403 for a consultation.
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