SUSPECT CERVICAL DISEASE FOR CHRONIC HEADACHE
Updated: May 24, 2018
Someone who works sitting down for long period of time may have complained of neck, shoulder, and lumbar pain before. Among them, many suffer from headache the most. The discomfort starts off with neck tightness and shoulder soreness. Many take pain relievers for headache and dizziness, but most of the patients are not aware of the main cause of headache. Habitual intake of medicine without grasping the root cause of headache can actually worsen the headache.
In cases where one got diagnosed as migraine, tensional headache, cluster headache, chronic migraine, etc. and has been taking medicine but show no signs of improvements for several years, and in cases where one has gone through variety of testing by department of neurology, internal medicine, otolaryngology, etc. but still does not get better even with medicine, there are few symptoms that help in self-diagnosing for headache due to cervical disease:
Pain on one side of head, especially on the area that connects the back of the head and neck.
Eye pain and poor vision over the area of headache.
Experience dizziness or tinnitus.
Followed by neck or shoulder pain, and tingling sensation on the arm or hand.
Pain worsens depending on the movement of the neck or pressure over the cervical vertebra portion.
Slouching while sitting or long use of computer and smart phone with improper posture the cervical vertebrae and surrounding muscles tense up, which compress the occipital nerve and causes headache — it is called “cervicogenic headache.” Nerve pain originating from C2-C3 cervical nerve can lead to fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, vomiting, any stomach issues, accompanied with memory loss, loss of consciousness and central nervous system issues in severe cases.
Adjusting the posture and shape of the body, as well as treatment that relieves tensed up muscles are effective in treating cervicogenic headache caused by muscle tension due to improper posture and Turtle neck syndrome. MSAT (Motion Style Acupuncture Treatment), treatment that relaxes neck and head muscles, is not only effective in relieving the tension in muscles, but also in improving range of motion of the neck that was once limited due to neck stiffness. “Cervical muscle relaxation” treatment is also recommended to secure the space between each vertebra to resolve nerve compression and improve the cervical vertebrae.
The following are acupressure points for tensional headache:
Bai Hui Point (Hundred Convergences): the point is on top of the head, where the line connecting the apexes of both ears and the vertical line crossing the middle of the forehead meet.
Tai Yang Point (Supreme Yang): Above the ear, lateral to the eye, area where moves when chewing food.
Feng Chi Point (Wind Pool): Back of the neck, 1.5 cm lateral from the midline, where it is concave.
Jian Jing Point (Shoulder Well): Midpoint between shoulder bone and neck bone.
Apply gentle and repeated pressure on Bai Hui, Tai Yang, Feng Chi, and Jian Jing points for great effects. Stretching exercise once every hour for flexible neck, and twenty-minute hot pack over the nape of the neck to relax the shoulder and neck.
The number of cervicogenic headache cases are increasing because of wrong postures and physiques. To prevent from getting headache, you must keep a right posture; keeping the same eye-level with the computer screen and phone is a great habit in maintaining the right posture. Moderate amount of exercise and sufficient hours of sleep are also necessary.
Published by KoreaTimes under <Health Column> on February 2, 2016.