Headaches and Migraines: Assessing your pain from the bottom up
First, let's clarify. By bottom up, we actually mean from the NECK up. Typically, when someone goes to a specialist for relief from headaches or migraines, an assessment is performed from the top down. In other words, it is often assumed that headaches and migraines (especially those that are chronic) originate in the brain. The current medications used for headache and migraine sufferers focus on desensitizing the brainstem to either prevent or stop the pain.
Research done way back in 1888 found that migraines were mostly related to sensitized central structures of the nervous system. Specifically, the brain stem. That concept was not pursued in the medical system for many years. Now, research is circling back to the "sensitized brain stem" phenomenon (we'll get into this more in next month's article).
With a "bottom up" approach, the NECK is addressed. What does the neck have to do with the brainstem, you ask? The top 3 vertebrate in the neck have what are called afferent nerves that intertwine with the pathway of the brainstem and can influence the sensitivity of the brainstem. If the neck is a driver of headaches and migraines, then addressing it could have just as good or even better results than any medication, procedure, or injection. Long term results are also an added bonus!
If you suffer from headaches or migraines, you NEED to have your neck assessed by a skilled professional! Contact Vertical Wall Physical Therapy today to get started on the path to relief!
VERTICAL WALL PHYSICAL THERAPY
16067 S.W. First St. Sherwood, OR 97140