of the most commonly treated complaints in our office is
headache. While there are many types of headaches with varying
causes, the most common type is the "Muscular Tension
headaches generally result from prolonged contraction of
the suboccipital muscles. These muscles bridge the junction
between the posterior (back) of the skull and the vertebrae
(bones) of the cervical spine (neck). Several mechanisms
seem to be involved in the causation of the common headache:
• Muscle inflammation and "trigger points."
• Joint irritation and nerve compression.
Inflammation and Trigger Points:
more than ever people are inclined to sit for hours with
contracted postural muscles but without substantial physical
activity. When muscles contract, they burn fuel and produce
waste. Among the waste products of muscle contraction are
lactic acid, histamine and bradykinins. These waste products
are irritants. If they are not efficiently removed from
the muscle they can cause muscular inflammation, pain and
accumulate into localized tender areas known as "trigger
waste products should normally be diluted and removed from
the muscle tissue by the circulation. This process relies
on the normal "contract - relax" cycle in the
muscle. When the muscle contracts it creates a high pressure
on the fluids inside the muscle and pushes the blood out
carrying away muscular waste products. When the muscle relaxes,
pressure decreases and blood floods back in, bringing vital
nutrients and fuel.
we sit or stand we are using the many back and neck muscles
required to support our body. When these muscles are held
contracted for a prolonged time (hours spent sitting or
standing), they are producing irritating wastes, but not
relaxing and draining themselves of these irritants. Over
time these irritants can cause the muscles to lose their
natural suppleness and resting length becoming stiffened
and shortened. These stiffened and shortened muscles, often
accompanied by trigger points can cause reflex headaches
as well as pain into the neck and head.
Irritation and Nerve Compression:
vertebrae of the spine fit together on moving joints that
provide strength to the structure of the spine and maintain
the vertebrae in proper working alignment with one another.
The joints of the spine in the neck are richly innervated
(supplied) with nerve fibers that can cause pain in the
head and neck if the joints are physically strained or injured.
the above process has produced stiffness and shortening
of the muscles in the neck the joints of the spine are no
longer properly stabilized or supported. The affected joints
of the spine often become subluxated (misaligned). This
causes strain and injury to the joints and supporting ligament
tissue. The result of the combined subluxation, ligament
strain and joint injury is often neck pain with associated
Cady utilizes spinal manipulation to improve the motion
of restricted joints. This combined with physical therapy
modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation, ice and
traction help to decrease the inflammation in the neck,
which reduces your pain associated with headaches.
next step is to keep your range of motion in your neck at
a normal level. This is accomplished through proper stretches
and exercises. Dr. Cady will guide you in your rehabilitation
through the whole process.
us today for an appointment at 408-739-2273
to help your headaches now.