Wondering who my most challenging patient is? ME! Wait….What?
Let us back up a bit. I started dealing with headaches right around the time I was in my second year of graduate school. 12-hour days consisting of looking down at books, computers, poor eating habits and lack of sleep finally caught up with me. It was a bit ironic considering I was studying to be a chiropractor and beginning acupuncture school as well, but I could not get control of my headaches.
As my studies progressed, I diagnosed myself with cervicogenic headaches or occipital headaches. These are headaches that arise from the structures in the neck, especially the upper portion. They can be from trauma, poor posture, or improper ergonomics. The structures of the neck can irritate or inflame the nerves that exit from the base of the skull and in turn cause headaches. They are usually distributed from the base of the skull, behind or above the ear and even above or behind the eye. This is called a rams horn distribution because the pain pattern is in the shape of a ram’s horn.
Deciphering where your headaches are coming from is the most important aspect in managing your condition. Because once you know the actual cause of the headaches you can come up with a plan of attack.
As years went by in life and in practice, I began to see a pattern. Despite educating my patients about posture, stretching and periodic checkups I was not practicing what I was preaching. When I was consistently aware of my posture and doing my exercises on a day-to-day basis, I had less frequent and less intense headaches.
Watch the video below to see the stretch that decreased my headaches by 90%!
Remember, this is through years of trial and error with myself as the guinea pig. The KEY exercise for YOUR headache may be different. That is where seeking professional help comes in.
We all have our physical issues. For some individuals it is headaches and for others it is low back pain. For others it is both! The key is to have a plan and a goal. What I mean by this is do not wing it! It will not work. Chasing the pain is a dead end. The key is to find the appropriate health care professional to help you narrow down the CAUSE and help guide you through your healing process. “Dr. Google” does not count by the way!
-ASK FOR HELP!
-DEVELOP A PLAN WITH YOUR PRACTITIONER
-RELIEF IS INEVITABLE!