One of the most common causes of headaches that do not originate in the head is called a “cervicogenic” headache. The cervicogenic headaches is a big word for a headache which has its origin in the area of the neck. The source of pain is found in structures around the neck which have been damaged. These structures can include joints, ligaments, muscles, and cervical discs, all of which have complex nerve endings. When these structures are damaged, the nerve endings send pain signals up the pathway from the upper nerves of the neck to the brain. During this process, they intermingle with the nerve fibers of the trigeminal nerve. Since the trigeminal nerve is responsible for perception of head pain, the patient therefore experiences the symptoms of a headache.
A chiropractor may be able to treat your headache if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:
- Has your neck ever experienced trauma?
- Have you ever been in a car accident?
- Have you ever played football or any other contact sport?
- Have you experienced many ‘minor’ injuries?
- Is your neck stiff or, at times, difficult to move?