A lesser-known, but nonetheless potent form of headaches
The cervicogenic headache receives a smaller portion of the spotlight than migraines or tension headaches, which are thought to affect up to one out of every six adults in the United States. The American Migraine Foundation defines a cervicogenic headache as a secondary headache- that is, caused by another condition. In this case, the headache’s source is derived from a disorder in the cervical spinal segment, where there is a complex relationship between spinal bones, spinal nerves, intervertebral discs and soft tissues. Let’s dive a little deepr into the causes of cervicogenic headaches.
What is cervical traction?
Traction is a natural modality that affords your spine the opportunity to decompress at whatever level tension is accumulating. With cervical traction, we focus on releasing tension from neck muscles and alleviating the pinched nerves which cause so much stiffness and pain. At our office in Alameda, we use specialized tables to gently stretch the spine and provide a targeted decompressive effect. But you can reproduce a similar effect on a daily basis- if you find that you consistently leave work with a sore, stiff neck, then cervical traction should be the first thing you do when you get home.
What’s all the buzz over this freaky word Fascia?
Have you ever wondered what keeps all your organs and muscles in place? Well, that’s the fascia- a thin layer of densely wound connective tissue, mostly collagen, that surrounds, stabilizes and connects every organ, muscle and structure in your body. It allows for the articulation of all the different moving parts in your body by reducing friction and preventing them from simply sliding into each other. The fascia has recently come into the spotlight as an area of focus for the medical community because of its role in systemic tension. The truth is, we can’t live without the fascia, but it causes problems and pain for many of us.
Sleeping fetal feels right
No matter some estimates say that as many as 40% of adults in America prefer this position for sleeping each night. At least they aren’t sleeping on their stomachs- which most experts agree is the worst sleep position for the spine. On the flip side, sleeping on your back is recommended by most back care experts, including our office at Bay Area Spine Care Office. Chances are, no matter what anyone tells you, you are going to select the sleep position that feels the most comfortable, even if that happens to be on the stomach. But it is possible to train yourself into preferring a different position- it just takes a spark of awareness and a flame of discipline. So here’s the spark:
A road map of spinal compression
It happens like this: when we were born, the downward force of gravity began working on our spines; as we grew older, our spines naturally became less resilient; we became less active and started working more and the strength, stability and support for our spines became less; we began to sit more and never gave posture a passing thought. One day, we wake up and realize that our back has been aching since, “I don‘t know when.” This is the typical story for many a person who suffers from chronic back pain- the forces of compression are winning out against your poor, weak intervertebral discs. So what can we do to start fighting back? Focus on spinal decompression.