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If you’re suffering from regular, intense headaches, you may assume you’re experiencing migraines. Migraines are rooted in the brain and most often manifest as a throbbing pain that radiates throughout the head. Another type of headache causes similar pain; however, it’s actually caused by pinched or compressed nerves in the neck. Distinguishing between them is critical in treating them.

If you’re experiencing regular headaches, chiropractic care may be able to help you treat both the causes and symptoms of your discomfort. Chiropractic care centers on the body’s nervous system, meaning it’s capable of addressing problems affecting both the neck and head. If compressed nerves are the source of your ongoing head pain, something as simple as a chiropractic adjustment may be enough to assist you in alleviating your headaches.

The team at Graybar Chiropractic works hard to help North Carolina patients address and qualify their headaches. If your headaches are frequent and severe, they can’t wait for diagnosis.

Qualifying your headaches

There are several symptoms that indicate whether a headache is caused due to a brain-related issue or is the result of a pinched nerve. Learning how to differentiate between these two causes can help both you and a care provider determine a course of treatment that addresses the cause and the symptom of your headaches.

Symptoms of cervicogenic headaches, in addition to throbbing head pain, include stiffness in one side of the face, a stiff neck, eye pain, pain while sneezing or an increase in pain when you adopt certain head or neck postures. Similar to migraines, cervicogenic headaches can also cause light sensitivity, nausea and loss of appetite, noise sensitivity and blurred vision.

What causes cervicogenic headaches?

Cervicogenic headaches are caused by pinched nerves in the neck or surrounding areas. Spinal nerves are found running up and down the spinal column, serving as transmitters that move signals between the brain and body. When these nerves become compressed or otherwise irritated, they send back pained signals to the brain. When nerves near the head become irritated, that pain may manifest as a headache.

The upper three cervical spinal nerves share a pain center with the nerve responsible for carrying messages from the front of your head to your brain, which means trauma or damage to these three nerves causes headaches, rather than exclusively neck pain. Neck pain may accompany the headaches, however.

Treating compressed nerves

Treating a cervicogenic headache requires manual manipulation of the spine by a trained chiropractic professional. Since nerves in the cervical spine are the cause of the head pain, any pressure affecting these nerves must be addressed as a first step in treating the headaches.

In addition to manual manipulation, a chiropractor may also prescribe a pain management strategy to help you alleviate any ongoing symptoms. Additional measures, like acupuncture or physical therapy, may be implemented in severe cases to help aid the healing process following a chiropractic adjustment. This can also help to prevent regression into poor postures that cause cervical nerve compression.

Say goodbye to headaches

Graybar Chiropractic is a full-service chiropractor, bringing individualized Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) approaches to North Carolina residents suffering from chronic headaches. We offer comprehensive chiropractic care, massage therapy, spinal decompression, and a range of other healthcare services designed to meet the needs of our patients. If you’re experiencing chronic headaches, call us today to schedule a consultation.

Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.