Back Clinic Headaches & Treatment Team. The most common cause of headaches can relate to neck complications. From spending excessive time looking down at a laptop, desktop, iPad, and even from constant texting, an incorrect posture for extended periods of time can begin to place pressure on the neck and upper back, leading to problems that could cause headaches. The majority of these types of headaches occur due to tightness between the shoulder blades, which in turn causes the muscles on the top of the shoulders to tighten and radiating pain into the head.
If the source of the headaches is related to a complication of the cervical spine or other regions of the spine and muscles, chiropractic care, such as chiropractic adjustments, manual manipulation, and physical therapy, can be a good treatment option. Also, a chiropractor may often follow up chiropractic treatment with a series of exercises to improve posture and offer advice for future lifestyle improvements to avoid further complications.
Headaches are a common condition that most experience and can differ greatly regarding type, severity, location, and frequency. Headaches range from mild discomfort to constant dull or sharp pressure and severe throbbing pain. A headache chiropractor, through therapeutic massage, decompression, and adjustments, alleviates the headaches, whether tension, migraine, or cluster, releasing the tension and restoring normal function.
Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches caused by overactivity, muscle tension, or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. These are not a symptom of an underlying disease and include tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. The other 5 percent of headaches are secondaryand are caused by an underlying condition, infection, or physical issue. Headaches have various causes or triggers. These include:
Long hours driving
Blood sugar changes
Excessive exercise or physical activity
Individuals spend more hours in one fixed position or posture, like sitting in front of a computer or standing at a workstation. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the upper back, neck, and scalp, causing achiness and discomfort that builds up to throbbing soreness. The headache’s location and the discomfort experienced can indicate the type of headache.
Chiropractors are experts in the neuromusculoskeletal system. Research shows that a headache chiropractor can adjust the spine’s alignment to improve spinal function, release and relax the tense muscles, and alleviate nervous system stress helping decrease the intensity and frequency. Treatment includes:
The Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Teamwill develop a personalized treatment plan for the individual’s specific condition and needs.
Biondi, David M. “Physical treatments for headache: a structured review.” Headache vol. 45,6 (2005): 738-46. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.05141.x
Bronfort, G et al. “Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 24,7 (2001): 457-66.
Bryans, Roland, et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Côté, Pierre, et al. “Non-pharmacological management of persistent headaches associated with neck pain: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario Protocol for traffic injury management (OPTIMa) collaboration.” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 23,6 (2019): 1051-1070. doi:10.1002/ejp.1374
Having headaches can affect anyone at any time, and various issues (both underlying and non-underlying) can play a part in the development. Factors like stress, allergies, traumatic events, or anxiety can trigger the causes of headaches to develop and can affect a person’s day-to-day schedule. Headaches can come in various forms and be the cause or symptom of other conditions. Many complain about headaches affecting their forehead, where the occipitofrontalis muscle resides, and explain to their doctors about a dull ache affecting them. To that point, the cause of the headache could affect them differently. Today’s article examines the occipitofrontalis muscle, how myofascial trigger pain affects this muscle, and ways to manage myofascial trigger pain associated with headaches. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from myofascial trigger pain associated with headache symptoms affecting the occipitofrontalis muscle. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing unexplainable headaches that seem to affect your daily life? Do you feel muscle tension in your head or neck? Or do certain areas in your upper body seem tender to the touch? Many individuals suffer from headaches, and it could be due to myofascial trigger pain associated with the occipitofrontalis muscle. The occipitofrontalis muscle surprisingly plays an important part in the facial muscles. The occipitofrontalis muscle is the only muscle that can raise eyebrows, convey emotions, and provide non-verbal communication as part of its functionality to the head. The occipitofrontalis muscle has two different sections in the head that play different roles. Studies reveal that the occipital and frontal bellies have other actions but work together despite being connected to the galea aponeurotica. However, like all muscles in different body sections, various factors can affect the muscles to become tender and form multiple symptoms associated with pain.
How Does Myofascial Trigger Pain Affect The Occipitofrontalis?
When various factors begin to affect the occipitofrontalis muscle, it could potentially be at risk of developing myofascial trigger pain associated with headaches in the muscle. Studies reveal that myofascial trigger pain is a musculoskeletal disorder associated with muscle pain and tenderness that can be identified as latent or active. When the occipitofrontalis is affected by myofascial pain, it could potentially lead to tension-type headaches as a symptom. Studies reveal that headaches, especially tension headaches, are associated with trigger points in the head and neck muscles. Myofascial pain occurs when the muscles become overused and sensitive to the touch. The affected muscle then develops small nodules along the muscle fibers and can cause referred pain in a different body section. To that point, the affected muscle becomes hypersensitive due to an excess of nociceptive inputs from the peripheral nervous system, thus eliciting referred pain or muscle contraction. When this happens to the individual, they experience constant, throbbing pain in their forehead and try to find relief to diminish the pain.
Myofascial Exercises For Headaches-Video
Have you been feeling tension and pain in your neck or head? Do headaches seem to affect your daily activities? Does the slightest pressure seem to cause you pain in your muscles? Experiencing these symptoms may be a sign that you may have myofascial trigger pain associated with the head and neck that is causing headache-like pain along the occipitofrontalis muscle. The video above demonstrates various stretching exercises for headaches and migraines associated with myofascial trigger pain. Myofascial trigger pain associated with headaches can cause overlapping issues in the upper extremities of the body since myofascial trigger pain can mimic other conditions that affect the head and neck muscles. Known as referred pain, the underlying cause of pain affects a different body part than the actual location. Luckily, there are ways to manage myofascial trigger pain associated with headaches along the occipitofrontalis muscle.
How To Manage Myofascial Trigger Pain Associated With Headaches
There are many ways to manage headache symptoms associated with myofascial trigger pain along the occipitofrontalis muscle. Many people will take over-the-counter medicine to dull the pain, while others use a cold/hot pack to be placed on their forehead to relieve the tension caused by the headache. Those experiencing trigger point pain along the affected muscles that are not responding to the at-home treatments will go to a specialist that uses various techniques to manage myofascial trigger pain associated with headaches. Studies reveal that manual trigger point therapies for the head and neck may reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of various headaches affecting the occipitofrontalis muscle. Other treatments that help manage myofascial pain associated with the occipitofrontal muscle include:
Chiropractic care: Spinal misalignment or spinal subluxation in the cervical spine can potentially lead to the development of myofascial trigger pain associated with muscle pain
Acupuncture: Dry needles are placed on the trigger points associated with the affected muscle to relieve pain
Hot/cold compress: Ice or heat packs are placed on the affected muscle to relieve tension.
Massage therapy: Deep tissue massage can relieve the inflamed area, reduce pain, and prevent trigger points from reemerging.
Utilizing these treatments can help prevent myofascial pain and manage headache symptoms associated with the muscle.
Headaches can affect anyone, and various issues can affect their development. Whether it is an underlying or non-underlying cause, multiple problems can trigger a headache to form and cause a dull ache in the affected muscle. One of the most common forms of headaches occurs in the occipitofrontalis muscle located in the forehead and near the base of the skull. The occipitofrontalis muscle is the only muscle that controls eyebrow movement, conveys emotions, and provides non-verbal communication as part of head functionality. However, like all muscles, the occipitofrontalis can become affected and potentially risk developing myofascial trigger pain. When this happens, the occipitofrontalis could develop tension-type headaches associated with myofascial trigger pain. Luckily available treatments are there to manage myofascial trigger pain associated with the occipitofrontalis muscle and alleviate headaches from the affected muscle.
Bérzin, F. “OCCIPITOFRONTALIS Muscle: Functional Analysis Revealed by Electromyography.” Electromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1989, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2689156/.
Chatchawan, Uraiwan, et al. “Characteristics and Distributions of Myofascial Trigger Points in Individuals with Chronic Tension-Type Headaches.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, The Society of Physical Therapy Science, Apr. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451952/.
Falsiroli Maistrello, Luca, et al. “Effectiveness of Trigger Point Manual Treatment on the Frequency, Intensity, and Duration of Attacks in Primary Headaches: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Frontiers in Neurology, Frontiers Media S.A., 24 Apr. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928320/.
Moraska, Albert F, et al. “Responsiveness of Myofascial Trigger Points to Single and Multiple Trigger Point Release Massages: A Randomized, Placebo Controlled Trial.” American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5561477/.
Pessino, Kenneth, et al. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Frontalis Muscle – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 31 July 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557752/.
Everyone in the world has various expressions that reflect how they are feeling. From being excited, worried, sad, angry, and disgusted, facial expressions defy people who they are, what they eat, and how they look. Each of the different muscles that make up the face has other jobs to work at the various locations of the upper extremities. The muscles on the forehead and near the eyes help people see while opening, closing, and raising their eyebrows. The muscles around the nose help take in air to breathe. The muscles located in the jaw help people chew food and speak. The neck muscles help support the head and provide mobility. All these muscles have specific jobs, and when issues affect the upper body extremities, they can potentially lead to different problems. When environmental factors like stress, anxiety, or depression begin to affect the body, it can also affect its facial features, causing unwanted symptoms to develop. Today’s article focuses on myofascial trigger pain on the face, the signs and symptoms associated with myofascial facial pain, and how to manage myofascial facial pain. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal and oral treatments to aid individuals suffering from myofascial trigger pain affecting their facial muscles. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing pain-like symptoms in your jaw? What about feeling constant pressure around your nose or cheeks? Do you feel tenderness in certain body areas around your face? Many of these symptoms you are experiencing could potentially involve myofascial trigger pain affecting the facial muscles. Having myofascial trigger pain in the upper extremities of the body can be challenging, as studies reveal that myofascial pain syndrome is a muscular pain disorder that is often misunderstood as it involves referred pain from small, tender trigger pain within the muscle fibers causing pain in different locations of the body than the actual source. Myofascial trigger pain often mimics other chronic conditions that cause doctors to be confused when patients mention that they have been experiencing symptoms and it’s affecting their daily lives. For myofascial trigger pain affecting the face, studies reveal that facial pain associated with myofascial trigger pain can be classified in various ways that affect the nasal, orbital, and oral cavities, the temporomandibular joint, and the sinuses from underlying pathologies. Myofascial pain correlating with the face can have many trigger points that can make a person feel miserable and affect their daily lives.
Like the rest of the body, the face has numerous nerves that branched out from the brain in the central nervous system, providing sensory-motor functions to the muscles. The trigeminal nerves help give movement to the face, and when myofascial pain affects the facial regions, studies reveal that the causes can include:
Acute muscle injury
Stress and anxiety
These signs are associated with myofascial facial pain due to common overlapping symptoms affecting each muscle around the face. Some of the symptoms related to myofascial facial pain include:
Feeling stuffed up
Chronic Facial Pain-Video
Have you been experiencing muscle tenderness in certain parts of your face? What about feeling stuffed up around the areas of your cheeks and nose? Or have you been feeling stiffness and pain along your jaw, neck, or shoulders? If you have been experiencing these pain symptoms, it could be facial pain associated with myofascial trigger pain. The video above overviews chronic facial pain and how it affects the head and neck. Research studies reveal that pain affecting the body for more than six months is considered chronic. Just like any other chronic pain symptoms in the body, chronic facial pain causes a neuropathic response to the central nervous system, making an injury hypersensitive and potentially involving associated symptoms from other chronic disorders. Myofascial dysfunction related to facial pain may become severe to activate trigger points along the facial muscle fibers, causing prickling sensations in the face. Luckily, there are available treatments for managing myofascial facial pain.
Management Of Myofascial Facial Pain
When managing myofascial pain associated with the face, many patients will go to their primary doctor and explain that they are experiencing pain and other symptoms that make them miserable. Doctors then examine the patient to see what is ailing them through a physical examination. Some doctors often utilize manual manipulation and other tools to diagnose that myofascial pain might be the cause. As stated earlier, myofascial pain associated with the face can be a bit complex as it can mimic other chronic conditions. Once the doctor diagnoses myofascial pain related to the face, they can refer their patients to pain specialists like chiropractors, physical therapists, physiatrists, and massage therapists to alleviate myofascial pain related to the face by examining where the causes are coming from. Pain specialists incorporate various techniques to relieve myofascial pain associated with the face:
Stretch & spray (Stretching the muscle and spraying a coolant spray to loosen tight muscles along the neck)
Putting pressure on the trigger point (This helps smooth out the affected muscle and fascia)
Gentle stretching exercises (Help strengthen the affected muscles)
Hot or cold compress (Helps relax the muscles and break up the adhesion from scar tissue)
Incorporating these treatments can help manage the symptoms associated with myofascial pain and can help alleviate muscle pain, thus preventing further issues from developing over time.
The facial muscles have specific jobs with different functions that help the body function properly. These jobs help various sections of the face by expressing how we feel, what we eat and taste, breath, and other jobs that define people. When issues begin to affect the upper extremities of the body, they can cause lead to different problems that affect the facial features of the face and cause unwanted symptoms to develop. This is known as myofascial pain and is often misunderstood,s since it can mimic other chronic conditions that affect the body. Different factors and symptoms associated with myofascial pain can become difficult to diagnose. Still, various techniques can help manage the symptoms over time to prevent further injuries from occurring on the face and the body.
Fricton, J R, et al. “Myofascial Pain Syndrome of the Head and Neck: A Review of Clinical Characteristics of 164 Patients.” Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, and Oral Pathology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 1985, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3865133/.
Yoon, Seung Zhoo, et al. “A Case of Facial Myofascial Pain Syndrome Presenting as Trigeminal Neuralgia.” Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 25 Dec. 2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19111486/.
Sports exercise headaches are exertion headaches that involve pain during or immediately after sports, exercise, or some physical activity. They come on quickly but can last a few minutes, hours, or days. Activities associated with exercise headaches include running, weightlifting, tennis, swimming, and rowing. Chiropractic, massage, decompression, and traction therapies can realign the body and relax the muscles allowing for optimal circulation and certain strategies to help prevent future episodes. Usually, there is no underlying disease or disorder, but it is recommended to talk to a healthcare provider to make sure.
Sports Exercise Headaches
When individuals exert their bodies intensely, they need added blood and oxygen, particularly with activities that involve tightening/tensing the abdominal muscles or increasing chest pressure. Doctors and scientists believe an exertional headache occurs when intense physical activity causes the veins and arteries to expand to circulate more blood. The expansion and increased blood circulation generate pressure in the skull that can cause pain.
Exercising is not the only cause; other physical activities that can trigger an exertion headache include:
Straining to use the bathroom
Lifting or moving a heavy object
Symptoms of a sports exercise headache include:
Neck stiffness or pain
Pain on one or both sides of the head
Pulsating pain discomfort
Throbbing pain discomfort
Shoulder tightness, discomfort, and/or pain
Sometimes individuals report the headache can feel like a migraine that could include:
Vision problems like blind spots
Most exercise headaches last five to 48 hours and can continue for three to six months.
An underlying disease or disorder does not cause most exertional headaches. However, individuals experiencing severe or frequent headaches should consult their doctor or a healthcare provider. Tests will be ordered to rule out possible causes that include:
MRI will take computer-generated images of the brain.
A spinal tap/lumbar puncture takes a sample of fluid from the spine for testing.
If there is no underlying cause found, the medical provider can diagnose exertion headaches if there have been at least two headaches that:
Were caused by exercise or physical activity.
Started during or after the physical activity.
Lasted less than 48 hours.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, spinal adjustments are an effective headache treatment option. This includes migraines, tension headaches, or sports exercise headaches. Using the targeted approaches, chiropractic restores the body’s natural alignment to improve function and alleviate stress on the nervous system. This allows the body to operate at optimal levels reducing muscle stress and muscle tension.
The jaw allows the host to chew, speak, and move while being stabilized by the surrounding muscles that help the jaw structure. The other surrounding muscles that support the jaw are the neck muscles when food is consumed and swallowed. The lower jaw has joints on each side that connect to the upper part of the skull, while the surrounding muscles provide the motor function to the jaw. To that point, normal wear and tear or various factors can not only affect the joints and the surrounding muscles, but they can cause overlapping pain profiles to the tendons, organs, and jaw muscles that may potentially affect a person’s quality of life. Today’s article examines the lateral pterygoid muscle, how TMJ dysfunction and trigger points affect this muscle, and ways to manage TMJ dysfunction and trigger points in the jaw. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from trigger point pain associated with TMJ dysfunction affecting the lateral pterygoid muscle. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you heard popping sounds in your jaw when you open or close your mouth? Does your jaw feel stiff, and the pain travels down the neck? Does your jaw lock up, causing difficulty for you to open or close your mouth? Some of these symptom overlap with pain associated with the lateral pterygoid muscle. As part of the mastication muscles, the lateral pterygoid muscle is also a craniomandibular muscle that has a crucial role in the inferior temporal region. The lateral pterygoid muscle works together with the medial pterygoid muscle to provide functionality to the mandible or the lower jaw. The lateral pterygoid muscle also has nerves that branch off the trigeminal nerve and sends information to the brain. This information causes the muscles to move and function when food is consumed; however, when injuries or traumatic events affect the lateral pterygoid, it can disrupt the lower jaw structure and the surrounding muscles.
How TMJ Dysfunction & Trigger Points Affect The Lateral Pterygoid
When the lateral pterygoid is affected by TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction, studies reveal that many individuals often experience pain around the jaw causing limited jaw movement and pain in the lateral pterygoid muscles. When the lateral pterygoid muscles become overused due to excessive chewing or by traumatic forces that affect the jaw, it can cause the muscle fibers of the lateral pterygoid to develop tiny knots known as trigger points to affect the jawline. Trigger points cause pain symptoms associated with other chronic issues that cause jaw pain. When trigger points affect the lateral pterygoid, it can develop discomfort and pain in TMJ dysfunction.
According to Dr. Janet G. Travell, M.D., many people with severe pain in their jaws may have myofascial pain syndrome from musculoskeletal disorders caused by active trigger points in the lateral pterygoid muscle. Since the lateral pterygoid is potentially involved with trigger points associated with TMJ dysfunction, studies reveal that the lateral pterygoid muscle may suffer from muscle atrophy while correlating with disc displacement associated with TMJ dysfunction. TMJ dysfunction is when the surrounding muscles and ligaments around the lower jaw are irritated from active trigger points. When a person suffers from TMJ dysfunction, the pterygoid muscles become stiff and cause pain-related symptoms affecting the jaw and the surrounding oral-facial region.
Jaw Pain & TMJ Dysfunction-Video
Have you been experiencing pain along your jawline? Do your jaw muscles feel stiff when your open or close your mouth? Have you heard popping sounds when you open your jaw, and it hurts? Many of these symptoms are associated with TMJ dysfunction affecting the lateral pterygoid muscle. The video above explains how TMJ disorder and jaw pain affect the body. Studies reveal that the activities of the lateral pterygoid muscle allow movement to the jaw for the host; however, when factors begin to affect the jaw and the lateral pterygoid muscle, it may lead to derangement and disc displacement in the TMJ. TMJ dysfunction associated with trigger points in the jaw may be combined with other factors that cause pain to the jaw and the rest of the body. This is known as somato-visceral pain, where the muscle affects the corresponding organ. TMJ dysfunction associated with trigger points is complex and challenging to diagnose since trigger points often mimic other chronic symptoms that may be potentially involved. Since the lateral pterygoid muscle has sensory-motor functions in the jaw, when the muscle becomes sensitive, those neuron signals become hypersensitive and cause disorganized muscular activation to the jaw; thus, determining factors in TMD (temporomandibular disorders) make an appearance. Luckily there are ways to manage TMJ dysfunction associated with trigger pain in the jaw from affecting anyone.
Managing TMJ Dysfunction & Trigger Pain In The Jaw
When a person is experiencing pain symptoms in the jaw from TMJ dysfunction associated with trigger point pain, many try to find various treatments to minimize the pain. Since trigger point pain in the jaw can cause referred pain associated with toothaches and tension-type headaches, the pain that a person is feeling can be confusing when there is no physical alteration. To that point, many people would take over-the-counter medicine to dull the pain. However, those who want to manage pain without medication can go to a musculoskeletal specialist that their primary doctor refers to, who can come up with a treatment plan catered to that person. Many musculoskeletal specialists, like chiropractors, can obtain the patient’s information on where they feel pain during the examination. Afterward, chiropractors can devise a solution through clinical thinking before applying the treatment to the patient’s pain. Some of the various techniques that a chiropractor utilizes for an individual dealing with jaw pain associated with trigger points include:
Stretch and spray: Where the lateral muscle is stretched and sprayed with a coolant to alleviate the trigger points.
Cervical spinal manipulation: Spinal adjustment to the cervical spine to loosen up stiff muscles surrounding the neck and lower jaw.
Heat compression: A hot pack is placed on the jaw to relax the muscles.
When chiropractors utilize these techniques on the trigger points affecting the lateral pterygoid, it may potentially alleviate TMJ dysfunction symptoms associated with trigger points.
The lateral pterygoid is part of the mastication muscles that work with the medial pterygoid muscle to stabilize the jaw and provide motor function when the host is chewing or speaking. When the lateral pterygoid muscle becomes overused through excessive chewing or being affected by traumatic factors can cause the development of pain symptoms associated with trigger points. Trigger points are tiny knots in the muscle that can cause referred pain to different locations in the body. When this happens, many individuals suffer from other chronic conditions associated with trigger points. One of them is TMJ dysfunction, where the surrounding muscles in the lower jaw become irritated and can make the jaw lock up. Fortunately, various treatments exist for many individuals to relieve trigger point pain associated with TMJ dysfunction affecting their jaws and help prevent the associated symptoms from progressing further.
Litko, Monika, et al. “Correlation between the Lateral Pterygoid Muscle Attachment Type and Temporomandibular Joint Disc Position in Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Dento Maxillo Facial Radiology, The British Institute of Radiology., Oct. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5595028/.
Liu, Meng-Qi, et al. “Functional Changes of the Lateral Pterygoid Muscle in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders: A Pilot Magnetic Resonance Images Texture Study.” Chinese Medical Journal, Wolters Kluwer Health, 5 Mar. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065862/.
Lopes, Sérgio Lúcio Pereira de Castro, et al. “Lateral Pterygoid Muscle Volume and Migraine in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders.” Imaging Science in Dentistry, Korean Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Mar. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362986/.
Rathee, Manu, and Prachi Jain. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Lateral Pterygoid Muscle.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 29 Oct. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549799/.
The jaw has a primary function in the head as it allows the muscles to move up and down, helps chew food, and allows the host to speak. Each of the muscles and organs inside the jaw has its functions that will enable the head to function correctly. The mouth, part of the gut system, allows air to travel into the lungs so the body can breathe and consume food to be swallowed and digested to be turned into energy for the rest of the body to move around. The mouth, the tongue, and the teeth have a casual relationship as the teeth can grind the food into small pieces to be digested, while the tongue can taste the food. When issues begin to cause an effect on the jaw, it can lead to symptoms that can, over time, be painful to the surrounding muscles, organs, and even nerve endings along the jaw’s skeletal structure. Today’s article looks at the medial pterygoid muscle, how trigger point pain affects this muscle, and ways to manage trigger point pain on the medial pterygoid muscle. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from trigger point pain associated with the medial pterygoid muscle along the inside of the jaw. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Do you have any problems or issues chewing your food? What about throat soreness from swallowing something hard? Or have you noticed stiffness along your jawline? Individuals experiencing these symptoms might be dealing with pain along the medial pterygoid muscle in their jaw. The medial pterygoid muscle is part of the mastication muscles, which includes the temporalis, lateral pterygoid, and masseter muscles of the jaw. The medial pterygoid is a rectangular-shaped muscle that lies inside the lateral pterygoid muscle. The medial pterygoid muscle works together with the masseter muscle as a sling to help stabilize the mandible or the lower jaw. In contrast, the medial pterygoid nerves provide sensory-motor functions to make the lower jaw move and promote chewing action, thus sending nerve signals to travel through the trigeminal nerve and send the information to the brain. Just like any of the different muscles in the body, the medial pterygoid muscle may succumb to injuries that can affect the sensory-motor function of the jaw while triggering various issues to cause more pain to the jaw and the body.
How Does Trigger Point Pain Affect The Medial Pterygoid Muscle?
When various issues begin to affect the muscles of the body, it can be something simple like repetitive motions that causes the muscles to be overused or injuries that can cause the muscles to become inflamed and, if not treated, can become sensitive to the touch. To that point, tiny knots known as trigger points are formed along the taut muscle fibers that can make the muscle become sensitive and overlap various issues that can cause pain in different body locations. Since the medial pterygoid and the masseter muscle work together, studies reveal that muscle hypertrophy may associate with the masseter, medial pterygoid, or both and can potentially be involved with the risk of dental problems or other issues that are affecting the oral-facial region. Trigger points along the medial pterygoid muscle may be challenging to diagnose due to the referred pain that affects different body areas while mimicking various pain symptoms that become the causes. An example would be a person experiencing ear pain associated with jaw pain. Now how would these two correlate when the person is dealing with ear pain? Since trigger points can mimic other symptoms, the jaw muscles (which include the medial pterygoid) become aggravated and overused, causing referred pain to the teeth overlapping with ear pain.
The Anatomy Of The Medial Pterygoid Muscle-Video
Have you been experiencing unexplainable ear pain? What about your jaws feeling stiff when chewing on something? Or have you been dealing with tooth pain in the back of your jaw? Many of these issues are correlated to referred pain symptoms associated with the medial pterygoid. The video above gives an overview look of the anatomy of the medial pterygoid muscle, its functions, and how it helps the body. When the medial pterygoid is affected by trigger point pain, it may potentially cause various conditions to affect the oral facial region or the surrounding areas of the head. Studies reveal that myofascial pain is often characterized by a trigger point in the taut skeletal muscle band or the fascia. When trigger point pain affects the mastication muscles, it may lead to other comorbidities like muscle tension, poor posture, headaches, and jaw disorders like TMJ(temporomandibular joint) pain. Fortunately, there are ways to manage trigger point pain on the medial pterygoid muscle.
Ways To Manage Trigger Point Pain On The Medial Pterygoid Muscle
Trigger point pain often affects the muscles in certain body areas, causing pain that affects the region of the body, thus making the muscle sensitive. Many individuals who suffer from trigger point pain associated with the medial pterygoid muscle would often complain of toothaches or headaches affecting their daily activities to their primary doctors. After an examination, many doctors would refer their patients to musculoskeletal specialists to see what issue is causing the patient pain in their bodies. Since trigger point pain is a bit complex, musculoskeletal specialists like chiropractors or physical therapists will examine trigger points associated with pain. Many musculoskeletal specialists utilize various techniques to release trigger points along the affected muscle to manage the pain and its related symptoms. At the same time, many musculoskeletal specialists incorporate other multiple treatments to help manage trigger point pain on the medial pterygoid muscle. These various treatments allow the muscles to relax and avoid a relapse in future injuries affecting the muscle.
The primary function of the jaw in the head is to allow the muscles to move up and down, enabling the host to speak and help the mouth chew food. The medial pterygoid is one of the four main mastication muscles that help support the jaw, which is rectangular shaped and helps stabilize the lower jaw. This muscle allows the sensory-motor function of the lower jaw and promotes chewing action. When traumatic or ordinary factors cause the medial pterygoid muscles to become overused can developed trigger points along the muscle fibers and initiate pain associated with toothaches and headaches. Trigger points along the medial pterygoid muscle can make the affected area sensitive and challenging to pinpoint. Fortunately, musculoskeletal specialists like chiropractors or physical specialists can help alleviate the pain while managing trigger points on the affected muscle through various techniques. When people begin to incorporate treatments to manage pain in their bodies, it can allow them to be mindful and avoid future injuries.
Jain, Prachi, and Manu Rathee. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Medial (Internal) Pterygoid Nerve.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 11 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547712/.
Jain, Prachi, and Manu Rathee. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Medial Pterygoid Muscle.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 11 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546588/.
Sabeh, Abrar Majed, et al. “Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Its Relation to Trigger Points, Facial Form, Muscular Hypertrophy, Deflection, Joint Loading, Body Mass Index, Age and Educational Status.” Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, Wolters Kluwer – Medknow, 24 Nov. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791579/.
Headaches are one of the common issues that affect anyone worldwide. Different issues can cause headaches and affect other individuals depending on the issue. The pain can range from being dull to sharp and affect a person’s mood, sense of belonging, and body. Different headaches can have different effects on people since headaches can be acute or chronic and overlap with other issues affecting the body. To that point, the surrounding muscles and organs around the face may be involved with other conditions where headaches are a symptom rather than a cause. Today’s article examines the temporalis muscle, how trigger pain affects the temporalis muscle, and how to manage the pain associated with trigger points. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from trigger point pain associated with the temporal muscle pain along the side of the head. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been dealing with a dull or sharp ache on the side of your head? What about the tension that is along your jawline? Or have you been dealing with tooth pain throughout the entire day? Encountering these symptoms can be difficult as they affect the facial region of the head and might overlap with the temporal muscle. The temporalis muscle is part of the mastication muscles, which includes the medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, and masseter muscles. The temporalis muscle is a flat, fan-shaped muscle that spans from the temporal fossa to the inferior temporal line of the skull. This muscle converges to form a tendon that surrounds the jaw bone and helps stabilize the jaw and its function by extending and retracting. Studies reveal that the temporalis muscle has two tendons: superficial and deep, in the back of the molars to aid chewing and are attached to the coronoid process (the skin and subcutaneous tissues that cover the superficial tendon of the temporalis muscle and the masseter muscle.) To that point, traumatic and ordinary factors can affect the temporalis muscle and cause symptoms associated with the muscle.
How Do Trigger Points Affect The Temporalis Muscle?
When traumatic or ordinary factors begin to affect the body, including the oral-facial region, it can cause unwanted symptoms to develop over time and, if not treated, make a person’s life miserable. Studies reveal that individuals dealing with chronic tension-type headaches have intense pain from the temporalis muscle. When the temporalis muscle becomes sensitive to the touch, the pain can travel to different body areas. These are known as myofascial or trigger points, and they can be a bit challenging for doctors to diagnose because they can mimic various pain symptoms. Trigger points along the temporalis muscles may potentially affect the teeth and cause headaches to form. Active trigger points in the temporalis muscle could potentially evoke local and referred pain while constituting one of the contributing sources of headache pain. Now how can the temporalis muscle induce chronic tension-type headaches? Well, trigger points are caused when the muscles are overused and can develop tiny knots along the muscle fibers.
Trigger points along the temporalis muscle could potentially induce abnormal dental pain. Studies reveal that abnormal dental pain can be referred to as neurovascular headaches associated with tension on the temporalis muscle. Since trigger points often mimic other chronic conditions that confuse many people about why they are experiencing pain from one section of their body, there are no signs of traumatic encounters. Since trigger points can cause pain to travel from one area of the body to another, many individuals try to find therapeutic ways to alleviate their pain.
An Overview Of The Temporal Muscle- Video
Have you been experiencing headaches that affect your daily activities? Does your jaw seem stiff or tender to the touch? Or have your teeth become extra sensitive when eating certain foods? Many of these symptoms may involve trigger points affecting the temporalis muscle. The video above gives an overview of the anatomy of the temporalis muscle in the body. The temporalis is a fan-shaped muscle that converges into tendons that help make the jaws move. When factors affect the body, especially the temporalis muscle, it can potentially develop trigger points along the muscle fibers. To that point, trigger points can mimic conditions affecting the body, like chronic tension-type headaches and tooth pain. Studies reveal that the pain pressure associated with trigger points along the temporalis muscle is consistently higher when there are different amounts of tooth clenching or jaw gaps. As luck would have it, there are ways to manage temporal muscle pain associated with trigger points.
Ways To Manage Temporal Muscle Pain Associated With Trigger Points
Since trigger points along the temporalis muscle could potentially cause pain in the oral facial region, the surrounding muscles like the upper trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid with their trigger points may cause jaw motor dysfunction and tooth pain. Fortunately, musculoskeletal specialists like chiropractors, physiotherapists, and massage therapists can find where the trigger points are located and use various techniques to alleviate trigger point pain along the temporalis muscle. Studies reveal that soft tissue manipulation can help release the trigger point pressure off of the temporalis muscle and cause relief. Utilizing soft manipulation on myofascial temporalis pain affecting the neck, jaw, and cranial muscles can help reduce headache pain symptoms and help many people feel relief.
The temporalis in the body is a flat, fan-shaped muscle that converges down to the jawline and works with the other mastication muscles to provide the motor function to the jaw. When ordinary or traumatic factors affect the temporalis muscle, it can develop trigger points along the muscle fibers. To that point, it causes pain-like symptoms and even causes referred pain like tension headaches and toothaches in the oral-fascial region of the head. This can make many people suffer in pain unless there are ways to manage the associated symptoms. Fortunately, many musculoskeletal specialists can incorporate techniques that target trigger-point pain related to the affected muscle. When people utilize treatment for myofascial trigger pain, they can get their lives back together.
Basit, Hajira, et al. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Mastication Muscles – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 11 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541027/.
Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, César, et al. “The Local and Referred Pain from Myofascial Trigger Points in the Temporalis Muscle Contributes to Pain Profile in Chronic Tension-Type Headache.” The Clinical Journal of Pain, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18075406/.
Kuć, Joanna, et al. “Evaluation of Soft Tissue Mobilization in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorder-Myofascial Pain with Referral.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 21 Dec. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767373/.
McMillan, A S, and E T Lawson. “Effect of Tooth Clenching and Jaw Opening on Pain-Pressure Thresholds in the Human Jaw Muscles.” Journal of Orofacial Pain, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1994, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7812222/.
Yu, Sun Kyoung, et al. “Morphology of the Temporalis Muscle Focusing on the Tendinous Attachment onto the Coronoid Process.” Anatomy & Cell Biology, Korean Association of Anatomists, 30 Sept. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8493017/.
The neck is vital in keeping the head upright in a casual relationship with the cervical spine. The neck is home to the thyroid organ and the surrounding muscles that help support the neck to the rest of the body. One of the muscles that help support the neck is the sternocleidomastoid muscle. When traumatic forces begin to affect the neck, over time can lead to the development of chronic conditions associated with pain. When individuals start to feel pain affecting their neck, it can cause them to be miserable and find ways to relieve the pain they are experiencing. Today’s article focuses on the sternocleidomastoid muscle, how trigger pain affects this muscle, and ways to relieve SCM pain. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from SCM associated with trigger pain along the neck. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing pain along the sides of your neck? What about limited mobility when you turn your neck from side to side? Or do headaches seem to worsen throughout the entire day? Some of these symptoms are associated with pain along the neck and could affect the surrounding muscles that are connected. One of the surrounding muscles that sit behind the thyroid is known as SCM or sternocleidomastoid muscle. The sternocleidomastoid muscle is a long muscle with dual innervation and multiple functions in the neck. The SCM is connected to the trapezius muscle that helps flex the neck, pulling the head forward while bringing the chin down to the chest. The SCM and the trapezius muscle work together to help stabilize and fix the head position while the host is talking or eating. When factors affect the neck over time, the SCM also gets involved.
How Does Trigger Pain Affect The Sternocleidomastoid?
When factors affect SCM associated with the neck, many issues will start to affect the neck and overlap pain near the eyes, ears, sides of the cheeks, and forehead. Studies reveal that SCM may develop myofascial trigger points in the head, causing referred pain. Trigger points are usually formed when traumatic forces affect certain areas in the body. For SCM to be affected by trigger pain, tiny knots along the taut band of the SCM muscle fibers become sensitive to pressure when compressed, and many people often describe the pain as deep and dull. To that point, the symptoms associated with SCM trigger pain may appear in numerous combinations or together depending on how severe the pain is on the person. Some of the symptoms related to SCM trigger pain include:
Headaches (sinus, cluster, or tension)
Ear pain (popping sounds in the ears)
SCM Pain & Trigger Points- Video
Have you been dealing with headaches throughout the entire day? What about muscle tenderness in certain areas near your neck or shoulders? Or have you been feeling dizzy that it is affecting your daily activities? Many people with these symptoms may be dealing with SCM pain associated with trigger pain. The video above offers an insightful overview of how does trigger pain may be involved with SCM pain. SCM or sternocleidomastoid muscle is a long muscle that surrounds the sides of the neck and is connected to the trapezius muscle. When factors begin to affect the SCM, the muscle is at risk of developing trigger pain along the muscle fibers. Studies reveal that trigger pain along the SCM may affect SCM’s normal muscle functions, like chewing due to hyperactivity. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve SCM pain associated with trigger pain affecting the neck.
Ways To Relieve SCM Pain In The Neck
When it comes to SCM pain associated with trigger pain along the neck, many individuals find ways to relieve the related symptoms that are causing the pain. Some individuals will take over-the-counter medication to relieve their neck, shoulders, and head pain. At the same time, others do stretches to release the tension on their head, neck, and shoulders. However, trigger pain is a bit complex and challenging to diagnose since it mimics other conditions that affect the body. As luck would have it, many doctors will refer musculoskeletal specialists like massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors who can help relieve SCM pain in the neck. Studies reveal that a combination of physiotherapy, classical massages, and stretching exercises can be applied to alleviate SCM pain in the neck. By stretching and massaging the SCM, many individuals can begin to feel pain relief in their neck, increase their range of motion, and have endurance in their neck. Integrating these various treatments for the SCM (sternocleidomastoid muscle) pain in the neck can help revitalize a person’s sense of well-being without being in pain.
The SCM, or sternocleidomastoid muscle, is a long muscle that sits behind the thyroid organ and is connected with the trapezius muscle. This muscle helps stabilize and holds the head position while flexing the neck and bringing the chin down to the chest. When environmental or traumatic factors affect the neck muscles, it can lead to chronic conditions over time, thus inflicting pain and tenderness along the SCM. These are known as trigger points and can be hard to diagnose due to them mimicking other chronic symptoms associated with the neck, head, and shoulders. Thankfully, various treatments like physiotherapy, stretching exercises, and classical massages can help relieve the trigger points along the SCM and relieve the neck and surrounding muscles.
Bordoni, Bruno, and Matthew Varacallo. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Sternocleidomastoid Muscle.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 5 Apr. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532881/.
Büyükturan, Buket, et al. “The Effects of Combined Sternocleidomastoid Muscle Stretching and Massage on Pain, Disability, Endurance, Kinesiophobia, and Range of Motion in Individuals with Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized, Single-Blind Study.” Musculoskeletal Science & Practice, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 June 2021, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34147954/.
Kohno, S, et al. “Pain in the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle and Occlusal Interferences.” Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 1988, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3171759/.
The brain and the spinal cord have a casual relationship in the nervous system as they help transport neuron signals to the rest of the body. These neuron signals travel through the various nerve pathways that provide motor-sensory functions to the arms, legs, neck, and back that help keep the body upright and function properly. When natural causes or traumatic issues affect the spinal cord, it can cause pain symptoms associated with nerve compression that overlaps with different chronic problems. When there is spinal nerve compression in the back, it may potentially involve low back or neck pain. Today’s article looks at a condition known as Chiari malformation, its associated symptoms with the spine, and how decompression and chiropractic care manage Chiari malformation. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in neurological treatments to help many individuals with Chiari malformation. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
What Is Chiari Malformation?
Have you been experiencing chronic headaches that are triggering neck stiffness? What about uncontrollable bladder issues? Are you feeling tingling sensations down your fingers and toes? Some of these symptoms are signs that you might risk developing Chiari malformation. Chiari malformation is uncommon when parts of the brain tissue extend into the spinal canal. This condition is a cluster of abnormalities that involves parts of the brain and cervical cord. The brain consists of 6 pieces that have different functions; they are:
Parietal lobe (Sense of touch, visual perception, differentiation, etc.)
Temporal lobe (Memory, understanding languages)
Occipital lobe (Vision)
Cerebellum (Balance, motor activity, coordination)
The brain stem (spinal cord, breathing, sleep and wake cycles, etc.)
These different brain sections have a casual relationship with their correlated organs and muscles to keep the body moving. When there are deformities affecting the brain from Chiari malformation, studies reveal that the cerebellum is leaking out of the skull and pressing against the surrounding spinal canal, triggering symptoms along the spine.
The Symptoms Associated With Chiari Malformation & The Spine
The symptoms associated with Chiari malformation do affect the spine in the body. The symptoms vary from each individual, ranging from none to severe. The most common sign that is associated with Chiari malformation is a headache. Studies reveal that symptomatic cluster-like headaches are related to various diseases, including Chiari malformation. When dealing with a headache that radiates pain along the neck and shoulders, this is known as somato-visceral pain, where the affected muscle affects the organ, causing pain associated with a chronic issue. Let’s look at another symptom related to the presence of Chiari malformation. Scoliosis is when there is a sideways curvature in the thoracic or lumbar regions of the spine. So how is scoliosis associated with Chiari malformation? When skeletal maturity and age are affected by scoliosis, studies show that neural axis abnormalities correlate with curve progression, causing the risk of Chiari malformation to develop. Other symptoms that are associated with Chiari malformation include:
Muscle weakness (coordination issues, loss of balance)
Have you been experiencing bladder issues out of nowhere? Do you feel tingling, burning sensations along your arms and legs? Has your neck and upper back been feeling stiff? These are some of the symptoms associated with Chiari malformation in the cervical region. The video above gives an overview of Chiari malformation, its diagnosis, and how it’s treated. Chiari malformation has multiple causes, but the most common cause is when the cerebellum develops downward and compresses the spinal canal. This causes painful issues on the neck and affects the visceral organs and muscles, causing painful symptoms that potentially involve other parts of the body. Fortunately, treatments are available to manage Chiari malformation and its associated symptoms.
Decompression & Chiropractic Care For Chiari Malformation
Chiari malformation is treatable through decompression and chiropractic care by managing the associated symptoms. Studies show that decompression may improve the symptoms associated with Chiari malformation and regain motor functions in the neck and range of motion in the arms. Decompression for the cervical region allows gentle traction on the neck to elongate the compressed spinal disc to release the pressure off the nerve root. For chiropractic care, spinal manipulation on the upper back may help alleviate headaches due to subluxation or spinal misalignment. Utilizing these two treatments allows many individuals to find the relief they are looking for and help manage the symptoms associated with their chronic issues.
Overall, the brain and spinal cord have a casual relationship in the nervous system as they help transport the neuron signals to each body part to be functional. Traumatic issues or injuries to the spine can cause pain in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions while potentially being involved with chronic issues. Chiari malformation is a chronic condition where the cerebellum develops downwards and compresses the spinal canal. This causes associated symptoms in the cervical region that can drastically affect the upper half of the body. Treatments like decompression and chiropractic care help manage the associated symptoms that are caused by Chiari malformation through non-invasive ways. Incorporating these treatments allow the individual to be pain-free.
Goldschagg, Nicolina, et al. “Decompression in Chiari Malformation: Clinical, Ocular Motor, Cerebellar, and Vestibular Outcome.” Frontiers in Neurology, Frontiers Media S.A., 22 June 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5479925/.
Hidalgo, Joaquin A, et al. “Arnold Chiari Malformation – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 1 May 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431076/.
Kaplan, Yüksel, and Özden Kamişli. “Cluster-like Headache Associated with Symptomatic Chiari Type 1 Malformation.” Noro Psikiyatri Arsivi, Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society, Mar. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5370268/.
Everyone has headaches at some point throughout their lives, which can be excruciating, depending on the severity. Whether it is a heavy workload that causes a person to have severe tension on their foreheads, allergies that cause immense pressure in between the sinus cavity in the middle of the face, or common factors that seem to cause a pounding sensation in the head, headaches are no joke. Often, headaches seem to go away when it’s in their acute form but can become chronic when the pain doesn’t go away, causing issues to the eyes and muscles. Today’s article looks at how headaches affect the body and how they can become a somatovisceral problem for many individuals. We refer patients to certified, skilled providers specializing in neurological treatments that help those individuals that are suffering from headaches. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is critical for asking insightful questions to our providers. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
Can my insurance cover it? Yes, it may. If you are uncertain, here is the link to all the insurance providers we cover. If you have any questions or concerns, please call Dr. Jimenez at 915-850-0900.
Do you feel a pounding sensation in your forehead? Do your eyes seem to become dilated and sensitive to light? Do both arms or hands seem to lock up and have a pins-and-needles sensation that feels uncomfortable? These signs and symptoms are various forms of headaches affecting the head. The head helps protect the brain from damage as the neuron signals from the central nervous system are connected to the cervical regions of the spine. When factors like lifestyle habits, dietary food intake, and stress affect the central nervous system, they begin to co-mingle to form various forms of headaches. Each form of headache continuously shifts in many suffering individuals to never sit still for their clinicians to capture their specific profile. Some of the multiple headaches include:
When headaches begin to affect the neck and head, research shows that these headaches cause a convergence between the cervical sections of the spine and the skull base. This becomes a mediator for the neck and head to develop referred pain. Referred pain is known as pain that occurs in one section of the body than where it is located. For example, say someone has been through a traumatic injury that causes them to have whiplash in their neck; that pain in their neck muscles can mimic a headache affecting one side of their head. Additional information has mentioned that migraine headaches can cause chronic inflammatory issues in the gut-brain axis, causing dysfunctional autonomic and enteric nervous systems and affecting the body.
How The Body Deals With Migraines-Video
Have you experienced throbbing in various sections of your face? Do you feel your muscles tense up around your neck or shoulders? Or does your body feel exhausted that noise seems to cause immense pain? The various forms of headaches can cause many problems not only in the neck but in the body as well. The video above shows what happens to the body when a person is suffering from a migraine. Research studies have noticed that individuals suffering from migraines will develop associated somatic comorbid symptoms like anxiety and depression, making migraine headaches more frequent. At the same time, being the top three of the most common forms of headaches, migraines may share a common underlying mechanism involving the overlapping profiles of the cerebrovascular system that is equivalent to a repetitive stress disorder affecting the central nervous system.
How Headaches Are A Somatovisceral Problem
Research studies have found that the severity of the headache in a person, especially in women, causes a synergetic relationship that causes somatic symptoms and depression to be so high. This is due to the overlapping risk profiles that affect the mechanisms of the sympathetic nervous system, causing the production of cervicogenic headaches and chronic migraines to form. This is because the junction of the brain stem and the spinal cord is called the trigeminocervical nucleus and overlaps the nociceptive cells. When this happens, The close anatomic pain fibers from the cervical spine and the trigeminal system start to be aggravated; it creates pain impulses from the neck to the head, causing headaches to be interpreted.
Overall, headaches are no joke when they start to affect the body and cause mimic pain in different parts of the body. When various factors begin to cause somatic issues that tense the muscles but also affect the surrounding nerves, it can cause headaches to form and become excruciating. Different forms of headaches can affect other regions of the face and can go away for a short period in their acute form. However, in its chronic condition, it can cause the body to be in so much pain. Finding ways to prevent headaches from progressing further can benefit the individual.
Cámara-Lemarroy, Carlos R, et al. “Gastrointestinal Disorders Associated with Migraine: A Comprehensive Review.” World Journal of Gastroenterology, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc, 28 Sept. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037083/.
Maizels, Morris, and Raoul Burchette. “Somatic Symptoms in Headache Patients: The Influence of Headache Diagnosis, Frequency, and Comorbidity.” Headache, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2004, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15546261/.
Tietjen;Brandes JL;Digre KB;Baggaley S;Martin V;Recober A;Geweke LO;Hafeez F;Aurora SK;Herial NA;Utley C;Khuder SA;, G E. “High Prevalence of Somatic Symptoms and Depression in Women with Disabling Chronic Headache.” Neurology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Jan. 2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17210894/.
The most common form of pain is the headache. Whether dealing with a mild, dull ache, severe throbbing, or painful tension along the scalp and neck, headaches can disrupt and get in the way of everyday life. Over-the-counter pain medications can offer temporary relief, but they don’t get to the root and solve the cause. Chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment option that will bring head pain relief and treat what is causing the headache/s.
Individuals engage in more sedentary activities, and more hours spent in one fixed position combined with poor posture can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the neck, upper back, and scalp. Headaches can have a variety of causes or triggers. These can include:
Stress is the most common trigger
Environmental stimuli – noises, lights, smells
Blood sugar changes
Most Common Types
There are two main categories: primary and secondary headaches.
Primary headaches are when the headache itself is the main problem and is not a symptom of underlying diseases or conditions. These include:
Headache pain comes from interacting signals in the brain, blood vessels, and nerves. A mechanism activates specific nerves that affect the muscles and blood vessels, sending pain signals back to the brain. If any of the following is occurring it is recommended to contact a doctor, headache specialist, or chiropractor.
Three or more headaches a week.
Headaches that get worse or don’t go away.
Having to take a pain reliever every day or almost every day.
Need more than 2-3 doses of over-the-counter medications a week to relieve symptoms.
Headaches triggered by strenuous activity, hard work/exertion, bending, coughing.
What time of day/night the headache usually occurs?
How long does the headache last?
Where the pain is located?
Type of pain – throbbing, comes and goes, dull aching, one-sided, etc.
Does the headache come on suddenly without warning or slowly progress?
Are there other symptoms like weakness, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, decreased appetite, changes in attitude or behavior?
A chiropractor will assess, diagnose, conduct a physical examination to determine the cause and develop a personalized treatment plan to alleviate the pain and help to manage and prevent headaches. Treatment approaches include:
A combination of chiropractic manipulative therapy.
Activate trigger points to release tension and allow for optimal nerve and blood circulation.
Active and passive exercises.
Most of the body is made up of water with the percentage of body composition that is water changing based on individual functional needs. Essential functions of water include:
Help to build/repair almost every cell in the body.
Regulating body temperature through sweating and respiration.
Energy from carbohydrates and proteins is transported by water through the blood.
Assists in the removal of metabolic waste through urination.
Acts as a shock absorber to protect the brain and spinal cord.
Creates saliva/fluids to lubricate the joints.
The amount of water in the body depends on various factors that include:
The most common water comes from lean body mass. This includes blood, organs, and muscle. Major body organs’ water content:
Lungs – 83%
Muscles and kidneys – 79%
Brain and heart – 73%
Skin – 64%
Bones – 31%
Bryans, Roland et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Tyagi, Alok. “New daily persistent headache.” Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology vol. 15,Suppl 1 (2012): S62-5. doi:10.4103/0972-2327.100011
Headaches and Treatment: Headaches can range from mild, dull aches to severe throbbing pain. They can be episodic and chronic. Tension headaches are the most common that present with pain around the head, scalp, or neck. Migraines are often chronic, with the pain lasting for a few hours to a few days. The location of the headache and the type of pain being experienced can indicate the type of headache. Sources of headaches include, but are not limited to:
Certain kinds of foods
Changes in blood sugar
Too much exercise
Headache relief can come from over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, rest, and ice/heat packs on the forehead or neck. Research shows that individuals suffering from chronic headaches and migraines benefit more from long-term chiropractic than drug therapy alone. Doctors of chiropractic offer safe, effective, long-term relief. This is because most headaches have a spinal, muscular, or repeated pattern/s, which chiropractors have been trained to identify and treat.
Tension Headaches and Treatment
Tension Headaches are usually worse in the afternoon and evening and are often work, school, and stress-related. The pain is usually felt on both sides of the forehead and/or the top of the neck. These headaches can last for long periods and can be triggered by something as simple as an airplane trip. Tension headaches are caused by tension and trigger points within the muscles that constantly contract and don’t relax. Chiropractic adjustments and muscle release techniques have proven to be highly effective.
A migraine aura usually comes before the onset of a Migraine and consists of:
Visualizing a strange light
Confusing thoughts or experiences
Migraines are more common in women, but they do occur in men. Things that can trigger migraines include but are not limited to:
It is recommended to keep a headache journal to:
Account all foods eaten
Headache frequency, duration, areas of pain, and discomfort.
Research has shown successful results from chiropractic manipulation applied to individuals suffering from migraine headaches. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, nutrition and supplementation have also shown positive and long-term effects.
Headaches and Treatment Chiropractic
Stress can manifest in many ways that lead to headaches. Chiropractic adjustments can improve acute and chronic neck pain, reducing the number of headaches, whether migraines, tension headaches, or some other kind. Chiropractors adjust the spine’s alignment to improve function and alleviate stress on the nervous system using a targeted methodology. This allows the body to function correctly and reduces stress and tension. A chiropractor will also recommend posture, stretches, exercises, and relaxation techniques.
Understanding how lifestyle affects the severity and frequency can be a large part of successful headache prevention. Specific adjustments can include:
Do not overuse pain medications, as overuse can make headaches worse.
The respiratory system refers to the organs in the body involved in breathing, inhaling oxygen, and exhaling carbon dioxide. These include:
Nose nasal cavity
Throat – pharynx
Voicebox – larynx
Windpipe – trachea
The respiratory system is critical because it delivers oxygen to all the body’s organs, supporting life-sustaining functions. If oxygen supply is insufficient, the energy production necessary for organ function becomes compromised, leading to poor overall health. The respiratory system is divided into the upper and lower respiratory tracts:
The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, nasal cavity, mouth, throat, and voice box.
The lower respiratory tract consists of the windpipe, lungs, and all sections of the bronchial tree.
When breathing, the hairs/cilia in the nose and trachea prevent bacteria and foreign substances from entering the body.
Occasionally, pathogens will make it past the cilia and enter the body, causing illness.
This is when the immune system goes to work neutralizing any invading pathogens.
Bryans, Roland et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Chaibi, A et al. “Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine: a three-armed, single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial.” European journal of neurology vol. 24,1 (2017): 143-153. doi:10.1111/ene.13166
Côté, Pierre et al. “Non-pharmacological management of persistent headaches associated with neck pain: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario Protocol for traffic injury management (OPTIMa) collaboration.” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 23,6 (2019): 1051-1070. doi:10.1002/ejp.1374
Daghlas, Iyas et al. “Habitual sleep disturbances and migraine: a Mendelian randomization study.” Annals of clinical and translational neurology vol. 7,12 (2020): 2370-2380. doi:10.1002/acn3.51228
Iwasaki, Akiko et al. “Early local immune defenses in the respiratory tract.” Nature reviews. Immunology vol. 17,1 (2017): 7-20. doi:10.1038/nri.2016.117
Self-care for secondary type headaches. Different types of headaches range from mild to excruciating, and the frequency of occurrence also varies from person to person. Headaches are classified into three types that are primary, secondary, and nerve pain headaches. Primary are tension, migraine, and cluster headaches. Nerve pain headaches are also called cranial neuralgia headaches. This is when one or more cranial nerves that run down the neck from the brain become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. Secondary headaches are a symptom of a bodily reaction or an injury. These types of headaches can be caused by:
These can be caused by a sinus infection. If pain presents in the upper teeth, a fever, and yellow or green nasal discharge, this could mean an infection. A doctor can help with some antibiotics. For individuals that regularly get sinus headaches from changes in air pressure or other causes, here are a few self-care techniques:
Steam can help drain the sinuses. Take a hot shower or hold your head over a pot of steaming water.
Nasal Irrigation and Neti Pots
This ancient remedy comes from India. The concept is simple; the teapot has a long spout that goes inside one nostril. The water/saline solution will go through the sinuses and come out the other nostril draining the nose and relieving the pressure.
Hot and Cold Compresses
Individuals can find relief by alternating between hot and cold compresses placed on the forehead. This reduces swelling and allows the sinuses to drain.
This powerful oil from Eucalyptus leaves helps clear up sinuses. It can be done by smelling a few drops placed on a cloth for 10 minutes or placing a drop or two in hot water and breathe in the steam.
Allergies are a common cause of headaches. Self-care can include:
Nitrates and Nitrites Avoidance
These are common food preservatives in processed types of meat like bacon, hot dogs, and sausages. It is a preservative, but many individuals can have an allergic reaction that causes headaches instead of hives.
Avoid Powerful Smells and Odors
This can be difficult with all the smells wafting around but try to pay attention to the surrounding smells as any could cause an allergic reaction. Strong odors can include:
Food allergies often result in digestive problems, hives, and swollen airways but can also cause headaches. Even individuals that are not allergic to the food itself could be sensitive to other items like artificial colors or preservatives. The most common food items that cause headaches include:
Consulting with a health coach and/or nutritionist can help to create a customized meal plan.
Exertion headaches can be produced by physical activity/exercise or strain. They usually begin with throbbing pain on both sides of the head and cause a red face or complexion. They can be caused by:
Prolonged physical activities, exercise.
Strenuous activity at work lifting objects or weights.
Self-care for stopping an exertion headache includes:
An exertion headache is the body’s way of saying that it has overextended its ability.
Drinking some cool water
Take a break for 20-30 minutes.
Avoid Headache Triggers
Try to stay aware when these headaches present and pay attention to see if there is a trigger.
This can be caused by dehydration
Not enough sleep.
Chiropractic and Physical Therapy
These types of headaches can also be caused by incorrect posture when working or exercising.
Lifting heavy weights or running with the head too far forward or back limits blood flow, causing muscle tension.
A chiropractor adjusts the spine and whole-body
Educate on core strengthening exercises and proper form.
Caffeine narrows the blood vessels that surround the brain. When an individual stops consumption, the blood vessels enlarge. This causes an increase in blood flow and pressures on the brain’s surrounding nerves. This can trigger a caffeine withdrawal headache. Self-care includes:
Peppermint or Lavender Oil
Massaging a drop of oil into the temples can open up the blood vessels and relieve the pressure.
Applying an ice pack to the back of the neck can stop a caffeine headache.
Taking a Nap
Lying down and taking a nap for 30-60 minutes can help bring relief.
Alternate decaf coffee with regular coffee.
Estrogen levels can affect various areas of a woman’s body, including headaches. Headaches experienced just before or in the first days of a menstrual cycle are known as menstrual migraines. Headaches that start when ovulating are called hormone headaches. Self-care can include:
Practicing yoga can help prevent headaches from occurring.
7-9 hours of sleep are recommended every night to allow the body to flush out old hormones and create new ones.
This can help prevent a hormone overload.
Stress leads to headaches.
Massage therapy is highly recommended to reduce stress and keep the body loose and relaxed.
Changing Birth Control Pills
Certain types of birth control pills can have more side effects than others, including headaches.
Ask a doctor about switching to another type to see if it helps.
Master Cleanse Diet
The Master Cleanse Diet is a prescriptive program that focuses on a specific food or drink regimen. This diet is intended to last around two weeks and relies on:
Bryans, Roland et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Chaibi, Aleksander, and Michael Bjørn Russell. “Manual therapies for primary chronic headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.” The journal of headache and pain vol. 15,1 67. 2 Oct. 2014, doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-67
Green, Mark W. “Secondary headaches.” Continuum (Minneapolis, Minn.) vol. 18,4 (2012): 783-95. doi:10.1212/01.CON.0000418642.53146.17
Individuals that experience frequent headaches can have sensitive headache trigger points. Every case is different and requires a thorough examination before a proper and personalized chiropractic treatment plan can begin. Headaches can be brought on from a variety of causes. This could be:
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
Tightness in the neck muscles
Low blood sugar
High blood pressure
The majority of recurrent headaches fall into three types:
Tension headaches, also known as cervicogenic headaches
Tension headaches are the most common and affect around 77% of individuals experiencing chronic headaches. Most individuals describe a tension headache as a consistent dull ache on one side of the head and sometimes both sides. They are often described as having a tight band/belt around the head or behind the eyes. These headaches usually start slowly, gradually and can last for a few minutes or days. They tend to start in the middle of the day or before the end of the day.
These headaches can be the result of stress and/or poor posture. The most common cause is subluxations in the upper back and neck, usually combined with active headache trigger points. This stresses the spinal muscles in the upper back and neck. A tension headache or stress headache can last 30 minutes to a few days. Chronic tension headaches can last for months. The pain can be severe; however, these headaches are typically not associated with symptoms like throbbing, nausea, or vomiting.
If the top cervical vertebrae shift out of their position and lose their normal motion, a small muscle called the rectus capitis posterior minor/RCPM begins to spasm. This small muscle has a tendon that slips between the upper neck and the base of the skull. It attaches to a thin, sensitive tissue called the dura mater that covers the brain. The dura mater is very pain-sensitive. When the RCPM muscle goes into spasm, the tendon pulls the dura mater causing a headache. Individuals that work at a desk station for long hours tend to experience headaches from this cause. Another cause comes from referred pain caused by headache trigger points in the Sternocleidomastoid/SCM or levator muscle on the side of the neck. This cause tends to happen more to individuals that have suffered a whiplash injury with muscle damage in the neck region.
Migraines are intense and throbbing headaches that are associated with nausea and sensitivity to light or noise. They can last for a few hours to a few days. Many experience visual symptoms known as an aura just before they come on. This is described as seeing flashing lights or when things take on a dream-like appearance. However, even in individuals that don’t experience the aura, most can tell that a migraine is getting ready to present. Individuals usually have their first attack before age 30. They tend to run in families supporting a genetic component. Some have attacks several times a month, while others can have less than one a year. Most individuals find that migraines happen less and become less severe as they get older.
These headaches are caused by the constriction of blood vessels in the brain. During the constriction period, there is a decrease in blood circulation. This is followed by dilation/enlargening of the blood vessels. This is what leads to the visual symptoms. Then the blood vessels dilate, generating a rapid increase in blood pressure inside the head. This increased pressure is what leads to a pounding headache. Every time the heart beats, it sends another shock wave through the carotid arteries in the neck into the brain. There are different theories as to why the blood vessels constrict, but they are still unknown. What is known is that several factors can trigger a migraine. This includes:
Lack of sleep
Foods that are high in an amino acid known as tyramine
Cluster headaches are very short excruciating headaches. They are usually felt on one side of the head behind the eyes. These headaches affect about 1 million individuals and are more common in men. This type of headache tends to happen at night. They are called cluster headaches because they tend to happen one to four times a day over several days. After one cluster is over, it could be months or even years before they present again. Like migraines, cluster headaches cause the dilation of the blood vessels in the brain, increasing the pressure.
Headache trigger point therapy involves four muscles. These are the:
The Splenius muscles involve two individual muscles, the Splenius Capitis and the Splenius Cervicis. These muscles run along the upper back to the skull base or the upper cervical/neck vertebrae. Trigger points in the Splenius muscles are a common contributor to pain that travels through the head to the back of the eye and top of the head.
The Suboccipitals are a group of four small muscles that maintain proper movement and positioning between the first cervical vertebra and the skull base. Trigger points in these muscles can cause pain that feels like it’s happening inside the head, from the back to the eye and forehead. Individuals report that the whole side of the head hurts. This is a pain pattern similar to a migraine.
The Sternocleidomastoid muscle runs along the base of the skull, behind the ear, down the side of the neck. It attaches to the top of the sternum/breastbone. Although most are not aware of this muscle’s trigger points, the effects are evident. This includes:
Referred pain tends to be eye pain, headaches over the eye, and can even cause earaches. An unusual characteristic of SCM headache trigger points is that they can cause dizziness, nausea, and balance problems.
The trapezius muscle is the large, flat muscle in the upper and middle back. Pain can be felt in the temple and back of the head. A common trigger point is located at the top of the muscle. This particular point can activate secondary trigger pointsin the temple or jaw muscles, leading to jaw or tooth pain.
Stress can be a trigger.
Depression, anxiety, frustration, and even pleasant excitement can be associated with headache development.
A headache diary can help determine whether factors like food, weather, and/or mood correlate with headache patterns.
Repeated exposure to nitrite compounds can result in a dull headache accompanied by a flushed face. Nitrite dilates blood vessels and is found in products like heart medications, and is also used as a chemical to preserve meat. Processed meats containing sodium nitrite can contribute to headaches.
Foods prepared with monosodium glutamate or MSG can result in headaches. Soy sauce, meat tenderizers, and various packaged foods contain this chemical as a flavor enhancer.
Exposure to poisons, even household varieties like insecticides, carbon tetrachloride, and lead, can contribute.
Contact with lead batteries or lead-glazed pottery.
Foods that are high in the amino acid tyramine should be avoided. This could be ripened cheeses like cheddar, brie, chocolate, and pickled or fermented food.
Chiropractic adjustments are highly effective for treating tension headaches, especially those that originate in the neck. Research has found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement and had fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief than taking common medications. There is a significant improvement by manipulating the upper two cervical vertebrae, combined with adjustments to the area between the cervical and thoracic spine.
Body Composition Testing
Vibration exercise is believed to stimulate the muscle fibers without going to a gym or stressing the bones. One study broke up postmenopausal women into three groups: resistance training, vibration training combined with resistance training, or no exercise/training. Their body composition was measured before starting the study. After the study was completed, the findings included:
Both the resistance group and the resistance group with vibration training increased lean tissue mass.
The control group did not show an increase in lean tissue and, in fact, gained body fat.
The combination group, using vibration training with resistance training, showed a drop in body fat.
Another study placed male athletes in a training program that included vibration training. The first group had lower-limb strength training combined with vibration training, and the other had lower-limb strength training without vibration training. The researchers found that the athletes in the vibration training group improved leg extension strength by five percent. In addition, the vibration training groups balancing ability and vertical lift/jumping test improved as well.
Bryans, Roland et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Chaibi, Aleksander et al. “Chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for cervicogenic headache: a single-blinded, placebo, randomized controlled trial.” BMC research notes vol. 10,1 310. 24 Jul. 2017, doi:10.1186/s13104-017-2651-4
Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014; 37: 42-63.
Bryans R, Descarreaux M, Duranleau M, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011; 34: 274-89.
The Atlas vertebra is named for the mythological figure who held the world on their back/neck. The vertebrae are located at the top of the spine, where the cranium and spine connect. More than just a foundation for support, the vertebrae could be the most important vertebrae of the body. It consists of a complex bundle of nerves, vertebral arteries, and is the point where the entire weight of the cranium makes contact.
The myth requires Atlas to be careful while holding the world carefully and confidently at all times, otherwise it will come crashing down. The key is being able to balance it perfectly. The vertebra has the same job to hold the head up properly and maintain posture. If not problems with balance and alignment will begin to develop, and affect the entire spine.
The Atlas Vertebra
The Atlas vertebrae’s role in maintaining balance is based on its ability to adjust to the weight of the head. The actual vertebra is wider than the other cervical vertebrae. This creates a center of gravity that is reinforced through proper posture. It distributes the weight of the head (10-12lb) evenly to centralize the weight and is supported by the natural curvature of the spine.
If the center of gravity shifts, the Atlas vertebra will tilt in that direction as well. This creates instability in the cervical spine and can increase the amount of weight the spine is taking and trying to redistribute. This creates spinal issues and leads to everything from poor posture, overcompensation that leads to injury.
Disruption to the vertebra and its ability to balance can come from a variety of causes and can occur as a result of chronic and acute conditions. Some include:
Auto accidents, sports, work injuries can cause cervical soft tissue damage
Dislocation of cervical vertebrae below the Atlas results in instability
Poor posture/s make individuals overcompensate to one side of the body straining muscles, ligaments, tendons causing pain and other issues
Herniated, bulging, and slipped discs
Spinal issues range from simple neck pain and soreness to full-on chronic pain. Because the Atlas can alter the balance of the entire spine, combined with cranium support, issues can be localized and referred creating further complications. Addressing the root problems requires a comprehensive chiropractic approach. Chiropractic will assess the position of the spine and determine the degree to which Atlas has shifted out of place. An adjustment treatment plan makes it possible to undo the widespread damage.
Individuals do not realize that muscle loss occurs throughout their lifetime. This is because muscles, like other tissues in the body, must go through cell turnover and protein synthesis. This means that the body is constantly breaking down protein in the muscles and rebuilding them.
Skeletal muscle can be developed with proper nutrition and includes consuming a proper amount of protein to provide the necessary amino acids and from physical activity. The reverse is also true, if an individual becomes less physically active and/or their diet no longer supports the development of increased muscle tissue, the body enters a catabolic/tissue-reducing state known as muscle atrophy.
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Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Woodfield, H Charles 3rd et al. �Craniocervical chiropractic procedures – a pr�cis of upper cervical chiropractic.��The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association�vol. 59,2 (2015): 173-92.
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