How does a structural shift cause a headache?

August is headache relief month at Chiropractic Wellbeing. We are spending a lot of time looking at the causes and ways to help those who have headaches.

Headaches are quite common, in fact according to the world health organisation about 50% of people have suffered from a significant headache in the last 12 months, and some sources suggest that number is even higher.

Headaches can be triggered by a large number of different things, but one of the most common, and the one we focus on in our practice, is a structural shift (or sometimes called a subluxation). This is where the spine moves from its normal "position" and movement patterns, causing pressure on the spinal structures and the nerve system that surrounds it.

So if we take for example the most common structural shift we see in practice, the anterior head syndrome.

Albury Chiropractor - Headache Consultation

This condition is very common in our society, with many of us having to sit for long periods of time at work, and the increased use of mobile technology. The ideal model would have the head directly over the shoulders, so the spine can support the weight of the head on the big spinal bones, not on the more delicate small joints and muscles. When we look at the people whose structure we analyse, the ideal is becoming less and less common.

Now, the head is approximately the weight of a bowling ball. When this weight is held over the big spinal bones, there is little stress on the soft tissues, and everything works well. When the weight has to be supported on the delicate spinal joints, ligaments and muscles of the neck, they can become strained, swollen and inflamed. This can cause pain in the neck and even cause headaches, in fact, it appears it is a very common cause of a headache.

Now, many forms of treatment will aim to reduce the swelling, inflammation and restriction, which can help the pain and give great relief, but if the primary structural shift is still there, the underlying cause can (and often will) cause more headaches into the future. A NeuroStructural Correction approach will not only aim to give you relief, but also correct the primary condition, to change the way the body works in an ongoing way. that is why we choose to work this way at Chiropractic Wellbeing.

Now, I hope, it is obvious that this will not be a solution to all forms of headaches. Structural shift is not the only trigger for headaches. But having your spine analysed for structural shift is a wise choice if you are looking to help headaches and improve the function of your body.