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Back Clinic Migraine Team. This is a genetic neurological disease characterized by episodes called Migraine attacks. They are quite different from regular headaches, which are non-migrainous. About 100 million people suffer from headaches in the U.S., And 37 million of these people suffer migraines. The World Health Organization estimates that 18 percent of women and 7 percent of men in the U.S. suffer.

They are called primary headaches because the pain is not caused by a disorder or disease, i.e., a brain tumor or head injury. Some cause pain only on the right side or left side of the head. In contrast, others result in pain everywhere. Individuals that suffer can have moderate or severe pain but usually can’t participate in regular activities because of the pain.

When a migraine strikes, a quiet, dark room may help with the symptoms. Migraines can last for four hours or can last for days. The range of time someone is affected by an attack is actually longer than the migraine itself. This is because a pre-monitory or build-up and a post-drome can last for one to two days.

Headache On Top Of The Head: Causes, Symptoms And Relief

Headache On Top Of The Head: Causes, Symptoms And Relief

Individuals experiencing headaches on top of the head could be caused by different factors. Can recognizing what triggers pain or pressure help prevent this type of headache, and healthcare providers develop effective treatment plans?

Headache On Top Of The Head: Causes, Symptoms And Relief

Headache On Top of The Head

Various factors could cause a headache on top of the head; common causes include:

  • Stress
  • Sleep problems
  • Eye strain
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Dental problems
  • Hormonal changes
  • Alcohol consumption


Many causes have to do with underlying issues happening in other parts of the body.


  • Stress is a common cause of headaches, including one on top of the head.
  • Researchers don’t know exactly how stress causes headaches, but they think it causes tightening of the muscles in the back of the head or neck, which
  • pulls the tissues down, resulting in pain or pressure in the scalp and/or forehead area.
  • These are also called tension headaches.
  • Headaches caused by stress generally feel like dull pressure rather than throbbing pain.

Sleep Problems

  • Not getting enough sleep can induce a headache on top of the head.
  • When the mind and body do not get proper sleep, it can interfere with body functions like temperature, hunger, and sleep-wake cycles, which can lead to headaches.
  • It is common to feel more stressed when sleep-deprived, which can cause or compound a headache and other symptoms.

Eye Strain

  • You may develop a headache on the top of your head after you’ve been reading, watching, or otherwise focusing on something for a while.
  • Over time, your eye muscles tire and have to work harder, causing them to contract.
  • These spasms can lead to headaches. Squinting can make the muscle contractions even worse.

Caffeine Withdrawl

  • Individuals may feel pain on the top of their heads if they skip their regular coffee.
  • Regular caffeine consumption can lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms, which include headaches when intake is reduced or stopped.
  • This type of headache can be moderate to severe and can feel worse with activity.
  • Most individuals start to feel better from caffeine withdrawal after a week. (World Health Organization. 2016)

Dental Problems

  • Teeth issues like cracks, cavities, or impaction can irritate the trigeminal nerve, setting off head pain.
  • Teeth grinding can also lead to headaches.

Hormonal Changes

  • Individuals who have a low level of thyroid hormone may experience headaches.
  • This could be from having too little thyroid or a symptom of the condition.
  • Like stress-induced headaches, this type is generally dull and not throbbing.
  • Some women may feel pain on the top of their heads before menstruation triggered by estrogen levels dropping.


  • Some individuals develop a headache on the top of their head or elsewhere within a few hours after drinking alcohol.
  • This is known as a cocktail headache.
  • Alcohol-induced headaches usually resolve within 72 hours.
  • The mechanism behind this headache is not fully researched, but it’s been thought that the widening of blood vessels in the brain/vasodilation when consuming alcohol may trigger head pain.
  • This type of headache is different than a hangover headache that comes from overconsumption and is based on dehydration and the toxic effects of alcohol. (J G Wiese, M. G. Shlipak, W. S. Browner. 2000)

Rare Causes

Top-of-the-head pain can also result from more serious and rare causes:

Brain Tumor

  • Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of brain tumors.
  • A headache on the top of the head depends on the location and size of the tumor. (MedlinePlus. 2021)

Brain Aneurysm

  • This is a weak or thin area in a brain artery that bulges and fills with blood, which can cause a life-threatening rupture.
  • Headaches are the most common symptom. (Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 2023)

Brain Bleed

  • Also known as a brain hemorrhage, this condition can cause intensely painful and quick headaches.
  • Brain bleeds can be caused by head trauma, high blood pressure, an aneurysm, a bleeding disorder, or liver disease. (New York-Presbyterian. 2023)


Treatment for reducing a headache on top of the head includes:

  • Putting an ice bag over the area to reduce inflammation.
  • Getting an eye examination.
  • Making healthy lifestyle adjustments like drinking more water throughout the day.
  • Less caffeine intake.
  • Changing sleep patterns for a healthier, rested mind and body.
  • Taking a therapeutic bath to relax the body.
  • Gentle exercises like walking, pilates, or yoga.
  • Practicing deep breathing.
  • Mindfulness exercises like meditation.
  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or NSAIDs like aspirin, Advil/ibuprofen), or Aleve/naproxen.

Depending on the cause and symptoms, a doctor may suggest specialist treatment options like:

  • Physical therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Prescription medication

A medical professional will be able to help identify the type of headache being experienced, offer treatment options, and advise on how to manage triggers.

Neck Injuries, El Paso, Texas


World Health Organization. (2016) Headache disorders.

Wiese, J. G., Shlipak, M. G., & Browner, W. S. (2000). The alcohol hangover. Annals of internal medicine, 132(11), 897–902.

MedlinePlus. (2021) Brain tumor.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (2023) Brain aneurysm.

New York-Presbyterian. (2023) Brain hemorrhage.

Headache Chiropractor: Back Clinic

Headache Chiropractor: Back Clinic

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.

Headache ChiropractorHeadache Chiropractor

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 secondary and are caused by an underlying condition, infection, or physical issue. Headaches have various causes or triggers. These include:

  • Long hours driving
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Blood sugar changes
  • Foods
  • Smells
  • Noises
  • Lights
  • 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.

Chiropractic Care

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:

  • Therapeutic massage
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Spinal decompression
  • Postural training
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Ultrasound
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Body analysis
  • Professional nutritionist recommendations

The Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Team will develop a personalized treatment plan for the individual’s specific condition and needs.

Migraine Treatment


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

Temporal Headaches & Toothaches

Temporal Headaches & Toothaches


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

What Is The Temporalis Muscle?



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,

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,

Fukuda, Ken-Ichi. “Diagnosis and Treatment of Abnormal Dental Pain.” Journal of Dental Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, The Korean Dental Society of Anesthsiology, Mar. 2016,

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,

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,

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,


How Chiropractic Can Help Prevent Migraine Headaches

How Chiropractic Can Help Prevent Migraine Headaches

Migraines affect an estimated 38 million people, including children, in the United States alone. Worldwide, that total jumps to 1 billion. Migraine ranks number three among common illnesses in the world and number six among disabling illnesses. More than 90% of people who suffer from migraines cannot function normally or work during an attack.

A migraine attack is often debilitating and extremely painful. It is also challenging to stop once it starts. The best treatment for migraines is to prevent them from ever occurring. Several methods work for some people, but chiropractic is a popular preventative measure that many people have found to help them be migraine-free.

Migraine Symptoms

A severe headache is the first thing people think of regarding migraines, but there are other symptoms which include:

  • Pain located on one or both sides of the head
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Blurred vision or other visual disturbances
  • Pain that is pulsing or throbbing
  • Lightheaded and possibly fainting
  • Hypersensitivity to smell, taste, or touch
  • Loss of motor function or, in more severe cases, partial paralysis (such as with hemiplegic migraine)

Some migraineurs experience auras before an attack, usually around 20 to 60 minutes. This can give the patient time to take specific measures to stop the attack or minimize it. However, it is still the right course of action to incorporate certain activities into your lifestyle to prevent migraines.

prevent migraine headaches chiropractic el paso tx.

Causes of Migraines

Doctors don’t know the exact causes of migraines, but research does indicate that certain triggers can initiate an attack. Some of the more common migraine triggers include:

  • Foods  Processed foods, salty foods, aged cheeses, and chocolate.
  • Beverages  Coffee and other caffeinated drinks as well as alcohol (particularly wine)
  • Hormonal changes occur mainly in women, usually during menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy.
  • Food additives  Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, as well as certain dyes.
  • Stress  Environmental, stress at home or work, or illness that puts strain on the body.
  • Sleep problems  Getting too much sleep or not getting enough sleep.
  • Sensory stimuli  Sun glare and bright lights, strong smells like secondhand smoke and perfume, and specific tactile stimulation.
  • Medication  Vasodilators (nitroglycerin) and oral contraceptives.
  • Physical exertion  Intense exercise or other physical exertion.
  • Jet lag
  • Weather changes
  • Skipping meals
  • Change in barometric pressure

Some research also shows a possible serotonin component. Serotonin is integral to regulating pain in the nervous system.

 During a migraine attack, serotonin levels drop. Migraine Treatments

Migraine treatments are classified as either abortive or preventative. Abortive medications primarily treat symptoms, usually pain relief. They are taken once a migraine attack has already begun and are designed to stop it. Preventative medications are typically taken daily to reduce the frequency of migraines and the severity of attacks. Most of these medications can only be obtained by prescription, and many have unpleasant side effects.

A migraine specialist can recommend medications and other treatments, including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, acupressure, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes. Adequate sleep, relaxation exercises, and dietary changes may also help.

Chiropractic for Migraines

A chiropractor will use a variety of techniques when treating migraines. Spinal manipulation of one of the most common, usually focusing on the cervical spine. By bringing the body into balance, it can relieve the pain and prevent future migraines. They may also recommend vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements and lifestyle changes, which usually eliminate triggers.

One migraine study found that 72% of sufferers benefitted from chiropractic treatment with noticeable or substantial improvement. This is proof that chiropractic is an effective treatment for relieving pain and preventing migraines.

Chiropractic Migraine Relief

A Tension Headache or A Migraine? How to Tell the Difference

A Tension Headache or A Migraine? How to Tell the Difference

Headaches are a real pain (insert eye-roll here). Many individuals suffer from them, and there are a variety of causes, symptoms, and treatment options. For some, they are a rare occurrence, while others deal with them weekly or even daily. They can range from minor inconveniences to full-fledged life-changing afflictions.

The first step in treating headaches is to understand the type of headache you are experiencing. Some people think they have a migraine when in fact, they are suffering from a tension headache. While tension headaches are more common, it’s estimated by the Migraine Research Foundation that 1 in 4 U.S. Households include someone with a migraine.

Determining which headache is being dealt with takes a bit of research. Individuals suffering from headaches need to ask themselves these questions to determine if they are having a migraine or experiencing a tension headache.

When in life did the headaches begin? According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines start in adolescence or early adulthood. In contrast, tension headaches can start at any time in a person’s life. If an adult just began suffering from headaches, they are most likely tension headaches.

Where does it hurt? The location of the pain is a vital indicator of the type of headache. Migraines typically occur on one side of the head. Tension headaches affect both sides of the head and can produce a feeling of pressure in the forehead area.

What kind of pain is it? If it is a dull pain, a feeling of pressure, or tenderness around the scalp, it’s most likely a tension headache. If, on the other hand, the pain is throbbing or pulsing pain, it could be a migraine. Both headaches can offer up severe pain, just different types.

a tension headache or migraine how to tell the difference el paso tx.


Are there any other symptoms? Migraines typically come with symptoms beyond head pain. Nausea, light and sound sensitivity, bright flashing or sparkling lights, pins and needle sensations down one or both arms, or dizziness are common. Individuals who don’t experience any of these symptoms are most likely dealing with a tension headache.

Can you function? While painful and frustrating, many people with a tension headache can still perform their jobs, drive, read, and deal with daily life. A migraine is a different story. Lying in a dark, quiet room with a sleep mask on until the headache passes is how most people handle migraines. If the headache is life-disrupting, it could very well be a migraine.

Do regular painkillers work? Tension headaches can often be relieved by over-the-counter pain medications. Migraines don’t budge with these treatments. Once a migraine is in full force, the sufferer must ride it out. If a headache reacts well to a couple of non-prescription painkillers, it’s most likely a tension headache.

Most individuals will, unfortunately, deal with a headache at one point in their lives. It’s important to note that tension headaches are much more common than migraines, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a headache being a migraine. The answers to the above questions give insight into the type of headache occurring and how best to handle the treatment proactively. No matter the type of headache, if the pain is severe, or begins after a head injury, seek medical treatment immediately.

Chiropractic Migraine Relief

Understanding Neck Pain and Headaches

Understanding Neck Pain and Headaches

My treatment with Dr. Alex Jimenez has been helping me by simply making me less tired. I’m not experiencing as many headaches. The headaches are going down dramatically and my back feels much better. I would highly recommend Dr. Alex Jimenez. He’s very friendly, his staff is very friendly and everybody goes well beyond what they can do to help you. –Shane Scott


Neck pain can develop due to a variety of reasons, and it can vary tremendously from mild to severe. Most of the population has suffered from this well-known nagging health issue; however, did you know that headaches can sometimes be caused by neck pain? While these headaches are commonly referred to as cervicogenic headaches, other types, such as cluster headaches and migraines, have also been determined to be caused by neck pain.


Therefore, it’s fundamental to seek a proper diagnosis if you’ve experienced headaches or neck pain to determine the root cause of your symptoms and decide which treatment option will be best for your specific health issue. Healthcare professionals will assess your upper back, or the cervical spine, including your neck, the base of the skull and cranium, and all the surrounding muscles and nerves to find the source of your symptoms. Before seeking help from a doctor, it’s essential to understand how neck pain can cause headaches. Below, we will discuss the anatomy of the cervical spine or neck and demonstrate how neck pain is connected to headaches.


How Neck Pain Causes Headaches


The muscles between the shoulder blades, the upper portion of the shoulders, and those surrounding the neck, or cervical spine, may all cause neck pain if they become too tight or stiff. This can generally occur due to trauma or damage from an injury, as well as in consequence of bad posture or poor sitting, lifting, or work habits. The tight muscles will make your neck joints feel stiff or compressed, and it can even radiate pain toward your shoulders. Over time, the balance of the neck muscles changes, and those specific muscles that support the neck become weak. They can ultimately begin to make the head feel heavy, increasing the risk of experiencing neck pain as well as headaches.


The trigeminal nerve is the primary sensory nerve that carries messages from the face to your brain. Furthermore, the roots of the upper three cervical spinal nerves, found at C1, C2, and C3, share a pain nucleus, which routes pain signals to the brain and the trigeminal nerve. Because of the shared nerve tracts, pain is misunderstood and thus “felt” by the brain as being located in the head. Fortunately, many healthcare professionals are experienced in assessing and correcting muscular imbalances, which may lead to neck pain and headaches. Moreover, they can help to relieve muscle tension, enhance muscle length and joint mobility, and retrain correct posture.


What Causes Neck Pain and Headaches?


Cervicogenic headaches, otherwise known as “neck headaches,” are caused by painful neck joints, tendons, or other structures surrounding the neck, or cervical spine, which may refer to pain to the bottom of the skull, to your face or head. Researchers believe that neck headaches, or cervicogenic headaches, account for approximately 20 percent of all headaches diagnosed clinically. Cervicogenic headaches and neck pain are closely associated, although other types of headaches can also cause neck pain.


This type of head pain generally starts because of an injury, stiffness, or lack of proper functioning of the joints found at the top of your neck, as well as tight neck muscles or swollen nerves, which could trigger pain signals that the brain then interprets as neck pain. The usual cause of neck headaches is dysfunction in the upper three neck joints, or 0/C1, C1/C2, C2/C3, including added tension in the sub-occipital muscles. Other causes for cervicogenic headaches and neck pain can include:


  • Cranial tension or trauma
  • TMJ (JAW) tension or altered bite
  • Stress
  • Migraine headaches
  • Eye strain


The Link Between Migraines and Neck Pain

Neck pain and migraines also have an intricate connection with each other. While in some cases, severe trauma, damage, or injury to the neck can lead to severe headaches like migraines; neck pain might result from a migraine headache in different situations. However, it’s never a good idea to assume that one results from the other. Seeking treatment for neck pain when the reason for your concern is a migraine often will not lead to effective pain management or pain relief. The best thing you can do if you’re experiencing neck pain and headaches is to seek immediate medical attention from specialized healthcare professional to determine your pain’s cause and the symptoms’ root cause.


Unfortunately, neck pain, as well as a variety of headaches, are commonly misdiagnosed or even sometimes go undiagnosed for an extended period. One of the top reasons neck pain may be so challenging to treat primarily because it takes a long time for people to take this health issue seriously and seek a proper diagnosis. When a patient seeks a diagnosis for neck pain, it may already have been a persistent problem. Waiting an extended amount of time to take care of your neck pain, especially after an injury, may lead to acute pain and even make the symptoms more difficult to control, turning them into chronic pain. Also, the most frequent reasons people seek treatment for neck pain, and headaches include the following:


  • Chronic migraines and headaches
  • Restricted neck function, including difficulties moving the head
  • Soreness in the neck, upper back, and shoulders
  • Stabbing pain and other symptoms, particularly in the neck
  • Pain radiating from the neck and shoulders to the fingertips


Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, individuals with neck pain and headaches can also experience additional symptoms, including nausea, diminished eyesight, difficulty concentrating, severe fatigue, and even difficulty sleeping. While there are circumstances in which the cause of your headaches or neck pain may be apparent, such as being in a recent automobile accident or suffering from sport-related trauma, damage, or injuries, in several instances, the cause may not be quite as obvious.


Because neck pain and headaches can also develop as a result of bad posture or even nutritional problems, it’s fundamental to find the origin of the pain to increase the success of treatment, in addition to enabling you to prevent the health issue from happening again in the future. It’s common for healthcare professionals to devote their time working with you to ascertain what could have caused the pain in the first place.


A Health Issue You Can’t Ignore


Neck pain is typically not a problem that should be ignored. You may think that you’re only experiencing minor neck discomfort and that it’s irrelevant to any other health issues you may be having. Still, you can’t know for sure more frequently than not until you receive a proper diagnosis for your symptoms. Patients seeking immediate medical attention and treatment for their neck-centered problems are surprised to learn that some of the other health issues they may be experiencing may be correlated, such as neck pain and headaches. Thus, even if you think you can “live with” not being able to turn your neck completely, other health issues can develop, and these problems might be more challenging to deal with.


There are circumstances in which a pinched nerve in the neck is the main reason for chronic tension headaches, where a previous sports injury that was not adequately addressed before is now the cause of the individual’s limited neck mobility and in which a bruised vertebrae at the base of the neck induces throbbing sensations throughout the spine, which radiates through the shoulders into the arms, hands, and fingers. You might also blame your chronic migraines on a hectic schedule and stressful conditions. However, it might be a consequence of poor posture and the hours you spend hunched over a computer screen. Untreated neck pain might lead to problems you never expect, such as balance problems or trouble gripping objects. This is because all the neural roots located on the upper ligaments of the cervical spine or neck are connected to other parts of the human body, from your biceps to each of your tiny fingers.


Working with a healthcare professional to relieve the root cause of your neck pain and headaches may significantly enhance your quality of life. It may be able to eliminate other symptoms from turning into a significant problems. While another health issue or nutritional deficiency generally causes the most common causes of chronic migraines, you might also be amazed to learn how often the outcome may be resolved with concentrated exercises and stretches recommended by a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor. Additionally, you may understand that the health issues you’ve been having often develop from compressed, pinched, irritated, or inflamed nerves in your upper cervical nerves.

El Paso Chiropractor Dr. Alex Jimenez


Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight

Although it may be difficult to distinguish the various types of headaches, neck pain is generally considered to be a common symptom associated with head pain. Cervicogenic headaches are very similar to migraines, however, the primary difference between these two types of head pain is that a migraine occurs in the brain while a cervicogenic headache occurs in the base of the skull or in the cervical spine, or neck. Furthermore, some headaches may be caused by stress, tiredness, eyestrain and/or trauma or injury along the complex structures of the cervical spine, or neck. If you are experiencing neck pain and headaches, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional in order to determine the true cause of your symptoms.


Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches


Foremost, a healthcare professional must determine the cause of an individual’s symptoms through the use of appropriate diagnostic tools as well as to make sure they have the utmost success in relieving the headache and neck pain without prolonging the duration of the symptoms and extra cost of incorrect therapy. Once an individual’s source of neck pain and headaches has been diagnosed, the kind of treatment a patient receives should depend on the type of headache. As a rule of thumb, treatment starts once the diagnosis has been made. A healthcare professional will work with you to create a treatment plan appropriate for your specific health issues. You’ll be taken through procedures that help build flexibility and strength in your sessions.


Chiropractic care is a well-known alternative treatment option focusing on diagnosing, treating, and preventing various musculoskeletal and nervous system injuries and conditions. A chiropractic doctor or chiropractor can help treat neck pain and headache symptoms by carefully correcting any spinal misalignments, or subluxations, in the cervical spine or neck, through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, among other therapeutic techniques. Chiropractors and physical therapists may also utilize a combination of gentle Muscle Energy Techniques, muscle building, joint slides, Cranio-sacral therapy, and specific posture and muscle re-education to lower the strain being placed on the structures surrounding the cervical spine. The staff will also help you understand how to better position yourself during your daily life to prevent relapses, like ergonomic and posture tips. Contact a healthcare professional for them to be able to assist you immediately.


In cases where alternative treatment options have been utilized without any results or sometimes used together with other complementary treatment approaches, pain drugs and medications may be contemplated, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and anti-seizure agents such as gabapentin, tricyclic anti-depressants, or migraine prescriptions. If pain medications prove ineffective, injections may be contemplated, including peripheral nerve blocks, atlantoaxial joint blocks administered at C1-C2, or aspect joint blocks administered in C2-C3. Surgical interventions may also be other treatment options. However, healthcare professionals suggest attempting all other treatment options before considering surgery. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez


Additional Topics: Back Pain


Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once. The spine is a complex structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, eventually lead to back pain symptoms. Sports or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain; however, sometimes, the simplest movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.




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EXTRA IMPORTANT TOPIC: Chiropractic Neck Pain Treatment 



Origin Of Head Pain | El Paso, TX.

Origin Of Head Pain | El Paso, TX.

Origin: The most common cause of�migraines/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 can cause headaches. The majority of these type of headaches occurs as a result of tightness between the shoulder blades, which in turn causes the muscles on the top of the shoulders to also tighten and radiate pain into the head.

Origin Of Head Pain

  • Arises from pain sensitive structures in the head
  • Small diameter fibers (pain/temp) innervate
  • Meninges
  • Blood vessels
  • Extracranial structures
  • TMJ
  • Eyes
  • Sinuses
  • Neck muscles and ligaments
  • Dental structures
  • The brain has no pain receptors

Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus

  • Trigeminal nerve
  • Facial nerve
  • Glossopharyngeal nerve
  • Vagus nerve
  • C2 nerve (Greater occipital nerve)

Occipital Nerves

origin headache el paso

Sensitization Of Nociceptors

  • Results in allodynia and hyperalgesia

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Headache Types

  • Meningeal irritation
  • Intracranial mass lesions
  • Vascular headaches
  • Cervical fracture or malformation
  • Metabolic
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Cluster headaches
  • Neuralgias
  • Tension headache
  • Secondary headaches
  • Post-traumatic/post-concussion
  • “Analgesic rebound” headache�
  • Psychiatric

HA Due To Extracranial Lesions

  • Sinuses (infection, tumor)
  • Cervical spine disease
  • Dental problems
  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Ear infections, etc.
  • Eye (glaucoma, uveitis)
  • Extracranial arteries
  • Nerve lesions

HA Red Flags

Screen for red flags and consider dangerous HA types if present

Systemic symptoms:
  • Weight loss
  • Pain wakes them from sleep
  • Fever
Neurologic symptoms or abnormal signs:
  • Sudden or explosive onset
  • New or Worsening HA type especially in older patients
  • HA pain that is always in the same location
Previous headache history
  • Is this the first HA you�ve ever had?
    Is this the worst HA you�ve ever had?
Secondary risk factors:
  • History of cancer, immunocompromised, etc.

Dangerous/Sinister Headaches

Meningeal irritation
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Meningitis and meningoencephalitis
Intracranial mass lesions
  • Neoplasms
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Subdural or epidural hemorrhage
  • Abscess
  • Acute hydrocephalus
Vascular headaches
  • Temporal arteritis
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy (e.g., malignant hypertension, pheochromocytoma)
  • Arteriovenous malformations and expanding aneurysms
  • Lupus cerebritis
  • Venous sinus thrombosis
Cervical fracture or malformation
  • Fracture or dislocation
  • Occipital neuralgia
  • Vertebral artery dissection
  • Chiari malformation
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypercapnea
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Anoxia
  • Anemia
  • Vitamin A toxicity

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

  • Usually due to ruptured aneurysm
  • Sudden onset of severe pain
  • Often vomiting
  • Patient appears ill
  • Often nuchal rigidity
  • Refer for CT and possibly lumbar puncture


  • Patient appears ill
  • Fever
  • Nuchal rigidity (except in elderly and young children)
  • Refer for lumbar puncture – diagnostic


  • Unlikely cause of HA in average patient population
  • Mild and nonspecific head pain
  • Worse in the morning
  • May be elicited by vigorous head shaking
  • If focal symptoms, seizures, focal neurologic signs, or evidence of increased intracranial pressure are present rule our neoplasm

Subdural Or Epidural Hemorrhage

  • Due to hypertension, trauma or defects in coagulation
  • Most often occurs in the context of acute head trauma
  • Onset of symptoms may be weeks or months after an injury
  • Differentiate from the common post-concussion headache
  • Post-Concussive HA may persist for weeks or months after an injury and be accompanied by dizziness or vertigo and mild mental changes, which will all subside

Increase Intracranial Pressure

  • Papilledema
  • May cause visual changes

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Temporal (Giant-Cell) Arteritis

  • >50 years old
  • Polymyalgia rheumatic
  • Malaise
  • Proximal joint pains
  • Myalgia
  • Nonspecific headaches
  • Exquisite tenderness and/or swelling over the temporal or occipital arteries
  • Evidence of arterial insufficiency in the distribution of branches of the cranial vessels
  • High ESR

Cervical Region HA

  • Neck trauma or with symptoms or signs of cervical root or cord compression
  • Order MR or CT cord compression due to fracture or dislocation
  • Cervical instability
  • Order cervical spine x-rays lateral flexion and extension views

Ruling Out Dangerous HA

  • Rule our history of serious head or neck injury, seizures or focal neurologic symptoms, and infections that may predispose to meningitis or brain abscess
  • Check for fever
  • Measure blood pressure (concern if diastolic >120)
  • Ophthalmoscopic exam
  • Check neck for rigidity
  • Auscultate for cranial bruits.
  • Complete neurologic examination
  • If needed order complete blood cell count, ESR, cranial or cervical imaging

Episodic Or Chronic?

<15 days per month = Episodic

>15 days per month = Chronic

Migraine HA

Generally due to dilation or distension of cerebral vasculature

Serotonin In Migraine

  • AKA 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)
  • Serotonin becomes depleted in migraine episodes
  • IV 5-HT can stop or reduce severity

Migraine With Aura

History of at least 2 attacks fulfilling the following criteria

One of the following fully reversible aura symptoms:
  • Visual
  • Somatic sensory
  • Speech or language difficulty
  • Motor
  • Brain stem
2 of the following 4 characteristics:
  • 1 aura symptom spreads gradually over ?5 min, and/or 2 symptoms occur in succession
  • Each individual aura symptom lasts 5-60 min
  • 1 aura symptom is unilateral
  • Aura accompanied or followed in <60 min by headache
  • Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis, and TIA excluded

Migraine Without Aura

History of at least 5 attacks fulfilling the following criteria:
  • Headache attacks lasting 4-72 h (untreated or unsuccessfully treated)
  • Unilateral pain
  • Pulsing/pounding quality
  • Moderate to severe pain intensity
  • Aggravation by or causing avoidance of routine physical activity
  • During headache nausea and/or sensitivity to light and sound
  • Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis

Cluster Headache

  • Severe unilateral orbital, supraorbital and/or temporal pain
  • �Like an ice pick stabbing me the eye�
  • Pain lasts 15-180 minutes
At least one of the following on the side of headache:
  • Conjunctival injection
  • Facial sweating
  • Lacrimation
  • Miosis
  • Nasal congestion
  • Ptosis
  • Rhinorrhea
  • Eyelid edema
  • History of similar headaches in the past

Tension Headache

Headache pain accompanied by two of the following:
  • Pressing/tightening (non-pulsing) quality
  • �Feels like a band around my head�
  • Bilateral location
  • Not aggravated by routine physical activity
Headache should be lacking:
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Photophobia and phonophobia (one or the other may be present)
  • History of similar headaches in the past

Rebound Headache

  • Headache occurring on ?15 days a month in a patient with a pre-existing headache disorder
  • Regular overuse for >3 months of one or more drugs that can be taken for acute and/or symptomatic treatment of headache
  • Due to medication overuse/withdrawal
  • Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis


Alexander G. Reeves, A. & Swenson, R. Disorders of the Nervous System. Dartmouth, 2004.

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