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 Headaches are a very common condition that most people will experience many times during their lives and are one of the most common types of pain and can be very debilitating. Headaches can differ greatly in regard to pain type, severity, location and frequency. 

   While there can be many reasons a person may develop a headache, a common source is often stress, tension, and possible dysfunctions in the muscles of the neck and upper back. These dysfunctions and tension patterns can arise from trauma, repetitive injuries, lack of movement, or poor ergonomics in every day life (i.e. forward head posture while driving, 'text neck,' straining to look at computer screen, etc.). Less common causes of headaches can be related to vascular problems, sinus issues, migraine disorders, and tumors. 

   Treatment for chronic headaches and migraines depends on several factors, including the type and frequency of the headache and its cause. 

Causes of tension headaches and migraines

  • Muscle tension and tightness

  • Decreased neck range of motion

  • Tightness between the shoulder blades

  • Weakness of the muscles between shoulder blades

  • Episodes of dizziness or vertigo

  • Teeth grinding or bruxing (associated jaw pain)

The two most common types of headaches seen in today are cervicogenic headaches and tension-type headaches:

1. Cervicogenic headaches: typical symptoms include pain on one side of the head, typically felt at the base of the skull, behind the eye, or radiating in a line between the two.

2. Tension-type headaches are typically related to stress and described as a dull, aching pain felt along the forehead and can radiate to the head’s sides and back with soreness in the neck and shoulder muscles may also be felt.

'Other' Causes 

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies 

  • Vitamin Bs

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

  • Calcium

  • Potassium

  • Sodium

  • Carnitine

  • +++ more

  • Too Little Sleep

  • Not Enough Water

  • Hormonal Changes 

Treatment for headaches and migraines

    Most causes of headaches are benign and can be managed with conservative treatment. A naprapath can complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine the musculoskeletal causes of your headaches. This evaluation consists of a subjective and objective interview, asking you questions, reviewing symptomology, and performing specialized tests. 

    Once the cause is determined, the naprapath will create a patient-specific plan of care to help alleviate your headaches. This plan will include hands-on specialized manual techniques and adjunctive therapies to reduce the tension along the cervical spine. This will improve cervical mobility and improve your strength and posture through exercises.

     A naprapath will also teach you ways to manage your headaches and prevent them from returning through postural, supplemental changes (vitamins/minerals) lifestyle changes.

    Headaches DO NOT have to be a way of life — there are many options available to you to help treat your headaches. Naprapathic medicine is here to help. 


   If we are unable to determine the cause & our treatments do not help within an appropriate amount of time, we order special tests such as MRIs, CT scans, or lab work. Additionally, we always refer out to neurology, opthamology, primary care, & so on when we are not best suited to help you. 

Suffering from chronic headaches or migraines?
The Backbone team can complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your headaches & to build a headache/migraine recovery plan that works for you. Schedule your visit today.

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