Neck pain is the most common symptom of a migraine. In a survey containing 144 migraine patients, 3 out of 4 say they experience neck pain with their migraines with 60% who experience neck pain before the migraine begins.
According to The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, pinched cervical nerves can cause cervicogenic headaches or cervical headaches. These cervical nerves all come from the brain stem which is protected by your top two upper cervical bones known as the Atlas (C1) and the Axis (C2), respectively.
When either of these upper cervical bones become misaligned, they apply pressure on the brain stem and can cause significant changes to your immune system, bodily functions, nerves, and can cause you pain or other neurological symptoms.
What is a Neck Pain Migraine?
Neck pain migraines include the muscles or nerves of the neck. This pain can also take place in the bones of the spine or discs that cushion areas between the spinal bones. Those who have a neck pain migraine have discomfort in the neck area and feel as if the migraine is in the base of their neck or radiates from the neck to the head.
While the neck pain is not seen to be the cause of your migraine and is rather a symptom of it, it could be warning you about a problem in the upper cervical area that is causing the migraine to happen.
Symptoms are used to warn the body something is going wrong. Instead of masking symptoms with medication or surgery, it is best to listen to these symptoms and understand what is causing them. Once the cause of the symptom is found and the problematic area is corrected, the symptom will dissipate and the healing process will begin.
How are Upper Cervical Misalignments Connected to Neck Pain Migraines?
Misalignments may lead to neck pain migraines for the following reasons: Pressure placed on the brain stem can cause nerves to become irritated, restrict cerebrospinal fluid and blood flow to the brain, and cause pain.
There are 274 different ways your two upper cervical bones can become misaligned and when a misalignment occurs, the head may become off-balance and tilt. In order to correct this tilt and keep your head and brain level, the spine begins to shift and adjust itself until your head is level again – creating a chain reaction of even more misalignments down the spine.
These shifts will cause changes in not only your bones but your muscles and soft tissue located in the spine as well. The muscles, nerves, and tissues in the shoulder, neck, and head area are commonly affected soon after an upper cervical misalignment.
Your brain stem’s job is to ensure your brain to body communication stays regulated or else, when the brain stem is disrupted, it will lead to an abnormally functioning nervous system. Those who have neck pain migraines have a nervous system that is not working as it should and it overacts to stimuli.
Their unusual waves of brain activity lead to their headaches and/or migraines. It is also understood that almost all patients who suffer from neck pain migraines have a problem with the nervous system.
When these misalignments are corrected and the brain stem returns to normal function, the nervous system wiring begins to regulate and correct the cause of your neck pain migraine naturally.
How is Upper Cervical Different from Other Neck Pain Migraine Treatments?
The upper cervical focuses on the brain stem and the corrections encourage the body to strengthen its natural healing abilities. Unlike generic chiropractic, the upper cervical is very precise and gentle with no popping or cracking of the spine involved.
Other treatments for neck pain involve going after the symptoms that come along with your neck pain migraines. Medications are used to help the inflammation of nerves, muscles, tendons, or joints that cause headaches. The medications used include aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), muscle relaxants to alleviate tightness in muscles and reduce spasms, or corticosteroids (cortisone-like medication).
When it comes to medications it’s no surprise how many side effects could come about from using them. Medications your body takes are not natural to the body, so it will respond to the medicine in various ways causing these side effects.
In some cases, relying on medication can cause the body to no longer create what it needs to deal with certain issues naturally. As for those who depend on medication often, they may develop a medication tolerance in which the medication they once used for relief will no longer have any effect on them.
Medication tolerance will force the users to use a different medication or feel they need to increase the dosage when it is not needed.
If the neck pain migraine is severe, surgery and/or injections are an option for patients who really need neck pain migraine relief. The issue is surgery and injections have not worked for everyone and could cause further damage to their body. The injections include numbing agents or a corticosteroid in or around the nerves.
The problem with this is the cause is still not corrected and only the symptom is taken care of. When a problem is left untreated, it could create more issues for your body over time.
Patients who have suffered from neck pain migraines and did not receive positive results from their surgeries and injections were still able to find relief from upper cervical adjustments.
This is because the cause of their neck pain migraine was left unattended even after the surgeries and injections, and when the cause has finally corrected the symptoms and the cause of the neck pain migraine begin to dissipate.
This is great news for those who have been looking for a natural alternative for neck pain migraine relief. Upper cervical adjustments are also safe for any age and do not harm your body with various side effects as it simply utilizes the power your body already possesses to repair itself.