The Nature of Headaches

headachew09The sudden onset of headaches or experiencing more headaches than usual could be the result of an injury or medical condition. When headaches are the result of these factors, they are called secondary headaches. Unfortunately, medications are often ineffective at managing them. For some, medications commonly prescribed for headaches can have no effect and in others, they can actually cause headaches to become worse.


There are a number of reasons that this might happen. Some people see issues because the ingredients in the medication (such as caffeine) are not well tolerated. The type of headaches experienced and the frequency of which medication is taken can also contribute to the aforementioned outcomes.


Common Causes of Secondary Headaches

Let’s take a look at a few common and less common reasons behind secondary headaches.

  • Concussion

  • Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Dental Problems

  • Panic Attacks

  • Acute Sinusitis

  • Dehydration

  • Whiplash

  • Certain medications

  • Structural Damage at Base of the Skull (Chiari Malformation)

  • Misuse of pain medication

  • Damage to the nerve connecting the brain and face (Trigeminal Neuralgia)


Helping Secondary Headaches

Knowing the source of a headache can help determine where to go to get help for the pain and suffering. For example, a misalignment of the top two vertebrae of the neck can hinder communication between the brainstem and the body. A misalignment of as little as ¼ millimeter can impede normal nervous system function and communication. Complications arise if this is the case and is left uncorrected for long periods of time.

In such situations, the disease or injury responsible for secondary headaches could be resulting from this structural imbalance. Scheduling an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor will determine if there is a need for an alignment of the upper neck vertebrae. Gently easing the vertebrae into place will aid in opening up communication between the brain and the body. When this is accomplished, it allows for natural relief from chronic headaches.  


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NUCCA Chiropractic Care

What is NUCCA
The National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) is an organization of Doctors of Chiropractic dedicated to patient care, education and research.

Spinal health care using the NUCCA procedures focuses on detecting and correcting a small misalignment in the upper neck area. Gentle, non-invasive adjustments don’t require any turning, twisting or popping.

Your upper cervical spine (neck) area influences all areas of your body. Injury or chronic misalignments can cause headaches, migraines, neck pain, low back pain, weakness and more.

The NUCCA technique is currently offered by less than 1% of all the Doctors of Chiropractic.

Before the NUCCA procedure can be performed, I will sit down with you and discuss your history and symptoms. If I determine that NUCCA can help, a thorough examination and x-rays will be done. A complete report of your findings and treatment options will be discussed. 

First adjustment
Precision x-rays are taken of the spine before any treatment begins. The adjustment is performed with the patient lying on their side and the doctor applying a very light pressure behind the earlobe. A full demonstration can be seen on the video above.

The NUCCA procedure can be summed up with 5 major distinctions as compared to traditional Chiropractic:

  • Gentle adjustment to the neck with no turning, twisting or popping.
  • Precision x-rays to measure before and after corrections.
  • Total body posture and balance improvement
  • Greater stability to the spine
  • Hold adjustments longer with fewer visits

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