Chiropractors in Amarillo, Neck, & Headaches.

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

People generally associate chiropractors with back pain or neck pain. They do not always associate chiropractors with headaches even though headaches are one of the maladies that we are the most successful at affecting.

Patients with headaches commonly complain of simultaneous neck pain. In fact, it’s almost always the case so it only makes sense that the chiropractor would be treating the neck as well as the headache. It has been generally accepted for years that neck pain and headaches have a close connection. Here are some of the reasons:


  1. The top 3 nerves exiting the spine in the upper neck travel straight to the head. They travel through the muscluature at the top of the neck where the muscles attach to the back of the head so that excess pressure on the nerves by these muscles will end up causing an irritation and pain.
  2. The 5th cranial nerve (Trigeminal) innervates the sensation of the face and is in the upper part of the neck near the 2nd cervical spinal nerve. This nerve innervates sensation in the back of the head up to the top of the head. Problems in the upper neck often cause pain running from the base of the head and upper neck over the top of the head, to the eyes, and/or the face.
  3. The 11th cranial nerve innervates the upper shoulders and muscles in the front of the neck. It starts at the top of the 5-7 spinal cord levels in the neck. Injury anywhere in the neck can result in spasm and pain in the associated muscle groups.

It is important to conduct a thorough exam of the neck and upper back when a patient is seeking relief from a headache. A chiropractor will most normally find upper neck movement and vertebral joint alignment problems present in patients complaining of headaches. There are most commonly trigger points in the shoulder blades, upper shoulders, sides of the neck, and especially in the base of the skull where the musculature meets the head.

As a chiropractor in Amarillo, what we have noticed in our clinic is that specific treatment to the suboccipital area (where the muscles in the back of the neck meet the head) that introduces movement into the joints, trigger point therapy to the suboccipital muscles, gentle traction, and massage therapy when needed tends to clear the majority of headache complaints.

Given the intimate relationship between the neck and headaches, it only makes sense to seek chiropractic help when looking for relief.

Thanks to Ben Altadonna’s informational article for this blog’s inspiration and information.