Fort Collins Headache Pain
Fort Collins headache pain: between 80-90% of the population has suffered headache pain at one time in their lives. For most of us in Fort Collins, headache pain happens only once in a while, but for some they are chronic occurrences. There are many different types of headaches ranging from emergency situations such as a stroke and aneurism to less serious situations like post concussion syndrome, hormone imbalances, hypoglycemia, food allergies/sensitivities and musculoskeletal issues in the neck.
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A cervicogenic headache refers to pain that is caused by a structural issue in the cervical spine, or neck. The cause of the structural problem in the cervical spine is usually myofascial referral pain in extreme cases the pain can be caused from severely degenerated joints in the neck and may require a more in depth analysis, such as x-ray or even an MRI, to determine the cause.
Myofascial referral pain occurs in muscles which are overworked and refer pain to another part of the body. These overworked muscles can be a result of prolonged, poor posture, repetitive motions or past injury. Sitting at a desk or computer all day will develop a forward flexed posture placing increased stress on the cervical spine as it holds the head from falling flat on your keyboard. Have you ever stopped to think about which way you turn your head when backing up your car? This could be a repetitive task that will increase forces on one side of your neck causing the musculature to become tighter in response. Do you hold the phone to one ear more than the other?
When a muscle becomes overactive it develops trigger points within the belly and tendons of the muscle. A true trigger point is an area in a muscle that when deep pressure is placed on it the area is very tender, but it will also elicit pain in another area of the body such as headache pain. An example of this is the Sternocliedomastoid muscle, the large muscle that runs from the front, bottom area of the neck, diagonally across the side of the neck to the base of the skull. When this muscle is overactive pain will be felt across the forehead from above and behind the eyes to the temple area.
Fort Collins Headache Pain
Treatment of myofascial referral pain is not new. Travell and Simmons, both MD’s published textbooks on it over 25 years ago. They used a method called spray and stretch to eliminate these trigger points. The muscle would be taken into a stretch while Freon was sprayed on the trigger point helping it to release. There are various manual therapy methods which can be used to decrease the tension in specific muscles to relieve the pain, even headache pain. Once the muscle is relaxed, the pain should subside. This is a good usually quick way to eliminate headache pain. If you are looking for more sustained relief your practitioner should prescribe neuro-muscular re-education exercises which should target the smaller stabilizing muscles which were not doing their job causing compensation in the larger muscles which caused the headache. Nneuromuscular re-education is used to tell the brain to “wake up” the small stabilizing muscles that have not been doing their job. When the whole team is working together, pain will disappear.
Headache pain can have many causes, the key to treatment is to get to the cause and stop treating the symptoms.
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