Tag Archives: headache

Headaches and Sitting Long Periods

headache relief san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for headaches in San Francisco for over 23 years.

If you are someone that spends the majority of their time sitting at a desk in front of a computer, like most of our patients, you are prone to neck pain and headaches.

The reason for this is that  sitting long periods causes static muscle tension in the neck, back and shoulders. The neck muscles attach to the back of the head. Chronic tension on these muscles can cause pressure and pain in the head as well as neck, upper back, shoulder, arm or hand pain.

We are simply not designed to be sitting at a desk all day and we need to be proactive making sure we are doing things to counteract these negative stresses.

Here is a partial list of things you can do:

  1. Take frequent breaks and stretch and walk around.
  2. Make sure your workstation is ergonomically correct.
  3. Drink lots of water throughout the day.
  4. Eat lots of plant foods (anti-inflammatory).
  5. Get plenty of exercise.
  6. Get a desk that allows you to stand or sit.
  7. Do deep breathing exercises.

There are more but those will do for now. If you already have headaches then you should visit a chiropractor for an assessment. Depending on the type of headache and the nature and severity of your condition you may only need a few visits or you may need more.

The good news is that most headaches respond favorably to chiropractic, especially those related to sitting long periods.

So, prevention is best. But if you do get a headache then see your chiropractor.

If you live or work in San Francisco we have 2 clinics to serve you.

To find out if you are a candidate for headaches treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.

 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Headaches That Wont Go Away!

 

headaches treatment san francisco

Headaches That Wont Go Away?

We have been providing treatment for headaches in San Francisco since 1992. 

One of the most common complaints n a chiropractic office are headaches. Especially, chronic headaches, which are headaches that persist for over 90 days wont go away.

There are many underlying causes of headaches, and fortunately, most respond favorably to chiropractic case management.

During the past 23 years or so we have helped thousands of patients with headaches return to more normal “headache free” active lifestyles. Some were diagnosed with tension headaches, some with migraines, temporal headaches, unilateral headaches, whatever. A diagnosis is just a name…a way to label the symptoms. It’s really just a particular doctors opinion.

In reality, most headache symptoms overlap with each other which makes it very difficult to correctly classify it as one type of headache or the other.

Chiropractors tend to focus more on how to help the headache than how to name it.

Experience tells us the most headaches originate from misalignment’s or pinched nerves in the neck. The causes are usually poor posture or ergonomics,  a bad mattress or pillow, stress,  auto accidents (many left untreated), sports injuries, a short leg, on and on. The cause is usually mechanical.

Sure, there can be serious causes of headaches, but these are usually associated with headaches that are new and acute with sudden onset. These are very rare and involve infections, tumors or fractures.

Sometimes x-ray or MRI is necessary to quantify the problem in the neck.

Chiropractic treatment for headaches (at our clinic) typically consists of chiropractic adjustments, massage, stretching, low tech exercises, posture and ergonomic advice, a cervical pillow, and laser if needed. Visits take about 20-30 minutes. Results are outstanding.

In the event you have a serious headache or there are any “red flags” we have medical doctors at our primary clinic a few blocks away to check you out.

So, if you have headaches that wont go away and would like to be checked to see if you are a candidate for headaches treatment in San Francisco, please call 415-392-2225.

Most insurance accepted. Validated Parking Embarcadero Center. 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Headaches From Sitting at the Computer?

headaches relief in san francisco

Headaches Relief in San Francisco

We have been treating headaches in San Francisco for over 23 years.  

Headaches are fairly common…especially with people that spend a lot of time on the computer like most of our chiropractic patients in the San Francisco Financial District.

Sitting for long periods in front of a computer can cause static muscle tension in the back, neck and shoulder muscles. Constant tension on the neck and shoulder muscles which attach to the head can cause tension headaches that can become chronic (lasting over 90 days) and debilitating.

Poor ergonomics can also contribute to computer related neck pain and headaches. As can lack of proper (frequent) micro-breaks, which are brief resting periods (typically 1-2 minutes) that allow the muscles to rest and recover.

In addition, you could be compounding the problem by sleeping on your stomach or using a soft pillow. It’s always best to sleep on your back or side with an orthopedic pillow like a Tempur-Pedic Pillow.

If you do get a sore neck at home there are stretches you can do as well as ice techniques to reduce inflammation, pain and muscle spasms.  Your chiropractor is your best resource for these.  You can also search Google or YouTube. If you do a search for the following you can find some videos we have done:

“Neck stretches Executive Express Chiropractic”, “cervical pillow executive express chiropractic”, “how to ice executive express chiropractic”.

Your chiropractor is also an expert on ergonomics as well as natural neck, shoulder, back and headaches treatment. Typically, you can expect to start feeling better right away…although it could take a few weeks.

Our San Francisco headaches treatment consists of chiropractic adjustments, massage, laser, ice, heat, ergonomic instruction, work and home stretches, cervical pillow, and stress reduction techniques. We have affordable cash fees and accept most insurance.

To find out if you are a candidate for headaches relief in San Francisco at our chiropractic clinic please call 415-392-2225. 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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The True Cause Of Most Headaches

headaches treatment in san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for headaches in San Francisco since 1992.

I know a little bit about headaches. When I was 23 years old and starting my career as a stockbroker I began to experience migraine headaches. They became progressively worse to the point I could no longer function normally. In fact, I became bedridden and developed an allergic reaction to the pain medication Percodan. It was not much fun.

I saw my family doctor, a headaches specialist, neurologist, ear, nose and throat doctor, a brain surgeon and a TMJ specialist. Nothing worked. I had blood tests, hearing tests, brain scans, MRI, cat scans and every test under the sun. At one point I was told to brace for the worst because my headaches had come on suddenly and that was a red flag.

Not once did anyone suggest that the cause could be physical. Not once did anyone mention the NECK as a possible cause or origination point of the headaches?

It wasn’t until one of my clients, a chiropractor, called me at home to see how I was doing. He told me that chiropractors had great success with headaches and that in spite of everything I had been through there wa a very high likelihood he could help. I did not know him that well at the time but I would have tried anything at that point.

Well, he took x-rays of my spine and did an exam. He told me I had pinched nerves in my neck and that this was a primary cause of headaches. I said how come all these medical experts never said anything about this? He said that’s a good question…one I hear every day.

Now this chiropractor was so busy that his waiting room looked like a Greyhound Bus terminal. To me thi could only be possible if he was helping people. So I gave it a shot. I did have a positive experience in high school with a chiropractor when I had suffered an injury to my neck playing football. As it would turn out, this was part of my headaches problem. Previous injuries  can create fertile soil for future problems.

Anyway, after just one visit I could tell I was feeling better. After a few weeks my headaches were almost gone. But get this…I still did not believe the chiropractic got rid of the headaches. I thought it was a coincidence. So as soon as I felt better I stopped.  The headaches came back. Then I thought it didn’t work. I know now this is a typical sequence of events.

In any case, I returned to the chiropractor (who ended up becoming my best friend)with my tail between my legs and finished what I started. I have been headaches free since. Not only that, it was because of this experience that I decided to switch gears and become a chiropractor. I became fascinated with it It was the best decision I have ever made.

My story is not unique…many chiropractors have their personal story of what lead them  into the profession. It’s one of the special bonds chiropractors have with each other.

I have been a chiropractor for over 22 years now and I have personally treated over 10,000 headaches patients. Because of my personal experience I was able to understand what they were going through and effectively treat the overwhelming majority of them.

In my opinion, the true cause of most headaches are misalignments (vertebral subluxations) in the neck. And the best treatment for headaches is chiropractic. And research supports this. Cjeck-out this article on the great chiropractic consumer website Chiro-Trust.org entitled The Neck and Headache Connection.

To find out if you are a candidate for headaches treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225.

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Migraines and Pregnancy

Pregnant woman headaches relief SFWe have been providing natural relief for migraines in San Francisco for over 20 years. One of the more common presentations we see are migraines and pregnancy.

There are millions of women who suffer with migraine headaches on a daily basis, and some of them actually experience a reduction in symptoms during pregnancy. In fact, according to the Baby Center, two thirds of women who suffer from headaches feel relief during pregnancy. Then, there are the women that have never had headaches before that begin to have them during pregnancy.

Why is this and what can be done about it?

Well, migraine causes in general can be very complicated and exact causes are not known. Estrogen is thought to play a role in migraines. That’s why pregnancy, menstruation and menopause often change a woman’s pattern of migraine headaches.

In my chiropractic practice I have discovered that many patients that are suffering with migraine headaches have misaligned vertebrae in the neck, some resulting in pinched nerves. By adjusting these vertebrae back into a more normal position we are able to find pain relief when all else has failed.

We incorporate gentle massage to the neck and shoulder muscles as well as ice therapy to reduce inflammation and muscle spasms.

This treatment is very safe, gentle, and effective. Most of the pregnant women with migraines that we see in our clinic wish to avoid medications during pregnancy and chiropractic is 100% natural.

Chiropractic adjustments will also help with the normal overall aches and pains associated with pregnancy. I adjusted my wife every few days until she gave birth to our daughter. She found great relief in this and has since referred many friends, co-workers, and relatives who may be suffering with headaches, neck pain, back pain or overall stress during pregnancy.

I guess from my point of view, I want to focus not so much on all the causes because we just don’t understand them enough…I will let the researchers do that. I want to focus on how to provide pregnant women natural migraine headaches relief, and that we can do very effectively.

To find out if you are a candidate for migraine headaches treatment in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225 and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our chiropractors.

By Eben Davis 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Headaches Treatment with Chiropractic


Headaches treatment in san francisco financial districtWe have been providing natural headaches treatment with chiropractic in downtown San Francisco since 1992.

Did you
know that 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches? There are many different
types of headaches with a multitude of symptoms including achy, throbbing,
nausea, vomiting, dizziness, numbness, blinding, noise, light and/or odor
sensitivity, and more. The causes of headaches can include genetics (familial traits
like migraine headaches), stress or tension (probably one of
the most common), environmental (allergies, seasonal, bright sunlight, loud
noises, certain foods), behavioral (insomnia, excessive
exercise, blood sugar problems, depression), and many more.

            Environmental factors can “trigger”
the onset of a headache. About 95% of headache sufferers have “primary
headaches” such as tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. The other 5% may be
caused by other physical conditions or problems and the headache serves as a
“warning sign” that something else is wrong. The “key” in the 5% of potentially
dangerous types of headaches is to pay attention to when there is a rapid onset
(“…it came out of nowhere fast!”), if they are very intense, and are
“different” from other headaches previously suffered. When nervous system
symptoms occur that are unusual for that person, such as lapses in memory, the
person is not responding, rapid onset of dizziness, balance disturbance,  and/or a “blinding sharp pain,” these should
trigger a warning sign that something specific and potentially dangerous may be
causing the headache.

            For the main 95% of headaches
sufferers, neck tension is a common complaint with the headache. Research
supports that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), the primary form of care
utilized by chiropractors, is an effective option for tension headaches. A 2001
Duke University study reported that SMT
resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches originating in the
neck, had fewer side effects, AND longer-lasting relief of tension-type
headaches compared to those receiving commonly prescribed medication. Another
study found that SMT was effective, not only for relieving the headache, but
had a sustained benefit AFTER it was discontinued after a 4-week treatment
period. This was NOT seen in a similar tension-type headache group receiving
prescribed medication treatment only.

            Here is how to help yourself:

 

1.
Improve your posture: Most of us are “chin pokers” and
“slouchers.” The weight of the head pulls on the neck and upper back muscles
and when held in that fixed position while driving, typing, watching TV, the
static muscle tension can create a headache.

2.
Take “mini-breaks” every 30-45 minutes from static fixed
positions and perform some exercises. A good stretch is to reach over to the
opposite side of the head and gently pull to stretch the sides of the neck.
Repetitively, poke and tuck your chin in & out to stretch different muscle
fibers. Then, add flexion, extension and/or rotation to the same movements for
about 10 sec./side. Try it now!

3.
Avoid clenching your teeth and shrugging your shoulders. We do
these things without being conscious that we’re even doing it. Those static
loads play havoc with our neck muscles. 

4.    Drink plenty of water – at least 8 oz., 8x/day (more when
exercising or pregnant). If you want to be more accurate, take your current
weight and divide by 2. (Eg., 130# person = 65oz./day; 190# = 95oz./day).

5.
If
you have chronic headaches, COME SEE US!
This is what we do, and it helps A LOT!

             We realize that you have a choice in
where you choose your healthcare services.
If you, a friend or family member requires care for headaches, we
sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services
and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Headaches Doctors please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Altadonna
Communications ©

 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Should You See a Chiropractor For Headaches?

Headaches doctor in san franciscoThis
seems like an easy question to answer, doesn’t it? The answer of course being,
YES!!! However, there are many people who suffer with headaches who have never
been to a chiropractor or have not even ever considered it as a “good option.”

            So, rather than having me “reassure
you” that chiropractic works GREAT for headache management, let’s look at the
scientific literature to see if “they” (the scientific community) agree or not.

            In a 2011 meta-analysis, researchers
reviewed journals published through 2009 and found 21 articles that met their
inclusion criteria and used the results to develop treatment recommendations.
Researchers discovered there is literature support utilizing Chiropractic care for
the treatment of migraine headaches of either episodic or chronic migraine.
Similarly, support for the Chiropractic treatment of cervicogenic headaches, or
headaches arising from the neck region (see last month’s Health Update), was
reported. In addition, joint mobilization (the “non-cracking” type of neck
treatment such as figure 8 stretching and manual traction) or strengthening of
the deep neck flexor muscles may improve symptoms in those suffering from
cervicogenic headaches as well. The literature review also found low load
craniocervical mobilization may be helpful for longer term management of
patients with episodic or chronic tension-type headaches where manipulation was
found to be less effective.

            Okay, we realize this is all fairly
technical, so sorry about that. But, it is important to “hear” this so when
people ask you why are going to a chiropractor for your headaches, you can say
that not only that it helps a lot, but there are a lot of scientific studies
that support it too!

So, Should you see a chiropractor for headaches?

            Bottom line is that it DOES REALLY
HELP and maybe, most importantly, it helps WITHOUT drugs and their related side
effects. Just ask someone who has taken some of the headache medications what
their side-effects were and you’ll soon realize a non-drug approach should at
least be tried first since it carries few to no side effects.

            We realize that you have a choice in
where you choose your health-care services.
If you, a friend or family member requires care for headaches, we
sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services
and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with one of our San Francisco Headaches Doctors please call 415-392-2225. Mention this blog post for a complimentary consultation.

Serving local 94111 for over 20 years

 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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What Are Cervicogenic Headaches?

Headaches treatment in san francisco, CAWe have been providing treatment for headaches in San Francisco for over 20 years now. Headaches
are a very common problem that can have multiple causes ranging from mental and physical stress to
trauma.  To make matters worse, there are
MANY different types of headaches. One such type is the “cervicogenic headache”
(others include migraines, cluster headaches, etc.).

            The main distinction between the
symptoms associated with cervicogenic headaches and those associated with
migraine headaches are a lack of nausea, vomiting, aura (pre-headache warning
that a headache is about to strike), light and noise sensitivity, increased
tearing with red eyes, one sided head, neck, shoulder and/or arm pain, and
dizziness. The items listed above are primarily found in migraine headache
sufferers.

            The following is a list of clinical
characteristics common in those struggling with cervicogenic headaches:

  1. Unilateral
    (one-sided) head or face pain (rarely is it on both sides).
  2. Pain is localized
    or stays in one spot, usually the back of the head, frontal, temporal (side)
    or orbital (eye) regions.
  3. Moderate to severe
    pain intensity.
  4. Intermittent
    attacks of pain that last hours to days.
  5. Pain is usually
    deep, non-throbbing, unless migraines occur at the same time.
  6. Head pain is
    triggered by neck movement, sustained awkward head postures, applying deep
    pressure to the base of the skull or upper neck region, and/or taking a
    deep breath, cough or sneeze can trigger head pain.
  7. Limited neck motion
    with stiffness.

            Infrequently, the cervicogenic
headache sufferer can present with migraines at the same time and have both
presentations making it more challenging to diagnose. 

            The cause of cervicogenic headaches
can be obvious such as trauma (sports injury, whiplash, slip and fall), or not
so obvious, like posture. A forward head posture can increase the relative
weight applied to the back of the neck and upper back as much as 2x-4x normal.

Forward Head Posture (FHP) is a frequent finding with those that spend a lot of time at a desk in front of a computer like most of our San Francisco Chiropractor patients.

Last month, we discussed the intimate relationship between the upper 2 cervical
vertebra (C1 & C2) and an anatomical connection to the covering of the
spinal cord (the dura) as giving rise to cervicogenic headaches. In summary,
the upper 3 nerves innervate the head and any pressure on those upper 3 nerves
can result in a cervicogenic headache. As chiropractors, we are trained to
examine, identify, and treat these types of potentially debilitating headaches. It is not uncommon for a chiropractor to achieve favorable results in a very short period of time with cervicogenic headaches…even in patients that have been suffering for years.

            We realize that you have a choice in
where you choose your healthcare services.
If you, a friend or family member requires care for headaches, we
sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services
and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule an appointment with a headaches doctor in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. Mention this article for a complimentary consultation and office tour.

 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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How Does Chiropractic Help Headaches?

Headaches doctors in san franciscoWe have been providing treatment for headaches in San Francisco for over 20 years.

Headaches
are one of the most common reasons people seek chiropractic care. Many patients
with headaches benefit significantly from adjustments made to the upper
cervical
region. So, the question is, how does adjusting the neck help
headaches? To help answer this question, let’s look at a study that was
recently published that examined this exact issue.

            It’s been said that if one
understands anatomy, determining WHERE the problem is located becomes easy. So,
let’s take a look at the anatomy in the upper most part of the neck. In the
study previously mentioned (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21278628), the
authors found an intimate relationship between the muscles that connect the
upper 2 cervical vertebra (C1 and 2) together and their anatomical connection
to the dura mater (the covering of the spinal cord). They identified this
anatomical connection between the muscles that span between the back aspect of
C1/2 and the dural connection as having a significant role in the development
of headaches usually referred to as cervicogenic headaches.

            There are several reasons why
chiropractors adjust or manipulate the upper cervical vertebrae in patients
with headaches. The obvious reason is simply because it helps to reduce the
intensity, frequency and duration of headaches. The reason it works is this: If
one or both of the upper 2 vertebrae (C1 and C2, also referred to as the atlas
and axis, respectively) are either blocked or fixed and cannot properly move
independently, then there is an abnormal change in the biomechanics in that
region. Similarly, if one of the two vertebrae is rotated or shifted in
reference to the other, a similar biomechanical “lesion” or problem occurs
(often referred to as a “subluxation”). You can take all the ibuprofen, Aleve,
Tylenol or other perhaps stronger, prescription medication for the headache,
but it is not logical that the biomechanical problem at C1 and/or C2 is going
to change by inducing a chemical change (i.e., taking a pill). All you’re doing
is masking the symptoms for a while, at best.

            Many people find that after a
several chiropractic adjustments, their headaches are significantly improved.
This is because restoring proper biomechanics to the C1/2 region reduces the
abnormal forces on the vertebrae as well as any abnormal pull or traction of
the posterior cervical muscles on the dural attachment. It has been reported
that the function of this muscle/dura connection is to resist excessive
movement of the dura towards the spinal cord when we look upwards and forwards.
During neurosurgery, observation of mechanical stress on the dura was found to
be associated in patients with headaches. In chronic headache sufferers,
adjustments applied to this area results in significant improvement. There is
no other treatment approach that matches the ability that adjustments or
manipulation have in restoring the C1/2 biomechanical relationship thus,
helping the headache sufferer. Another treatment option that has been shown to
benefit the headache patient is injections to this same area. However, given
the side effects of cortisone, botox, and other injectable chemicals, it’s
clear that chiropractic should be utilized first. It’s the safest, most
effective, and fastest way to restore function in the C1/2 area, thus relieving
headaches.

            We realize that you have a choice in
where you choose your healthcare services. 
If you, a friend or family member requires care for headaches, we
sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services
and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Our chiropractors are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of headaches. To schedule an appointment with a headaches doctor in San Francisco call 415-392-2225.

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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Neck Pain, Headaches, and Poor Posture

Neck pain and headaches doctor in san franciscoNeck pain is one of the most common complaints for which patients present to our San Francisco chiropractic clinic. Headaches are also another very common problem and often go hand-in-hand with the presence of neck pain. So, the question that is frequently asked is, “…why do headaches and neck pain often travel together?”

            There are many types of headaches, some of which we have discussed previously with migraine and tension-type headaches being the most common. This article will focus on how headaches and the neck are related to each other and what YOU can do about it.

            The relationship between neck pain and headaches is strong! In fact, in some cases, headaches will occur ONLY when the neck hurts. One reason is because the first three nerves that exit out from the top of the cervical spine (C1, 2 and 3) have to travel through the thick group of muscles that insert onto the back/base of the skull along the occipital rim. Because we carry a lot of stress in the neck muscles, when they tighten up, they squeeze or pinch those 3 nerves and pain then radiates into the back of the head and sometimes up and over the vertex to the eyes or behind the eyes. If you take your fingers or thumb and push firmly into those muscles at the very top of the neck or base of the skull, it often feels, “…like a good hurt.” This is because they are usually tight since most of us carry our head too far forwards (forward head posture or FHP) and the muscles have to contract and constantly work to keep the head from gliding even further.

Cervical nerves and headaches
            So, what can YOU do about it? Let’s talk about a few GREAT posture retraining exercises. Tuck in your chin to the point where the voice changes pitch (your voice will start to sound “funny”). At that point, release the chin slightly so the voice clears and stay in position! That is the posture or head position of choice. Initially, it will be very difficult to remember to hold that position very long because your muscles (and brain) aren’t used to it and, you’ll slip back into the old forward head carriage habit or chin poke position. So, be patient with yourself because it takes about 3 months of constant self-reminding to, “…keep that chin tucked,” before this new “habit pattern” is formed in the brain.

We like to have our chiropractic patients perform these posture exercises at the clinic to make sure they do them and are doing them properly. Once learned these exercises can help counteract hours of poor posture at the computer.

            Another great exercise is an “offshoot” of this, where you tuck the chin in as far as you can (making a double or triple chin) holding that position for 3 seconds, and then tip the head back as far as you can without releasing the chin tuck and hold for another 3 seconds. Repeat this 2-3x / “set” and perform this multiple times per day.

            A 3rd great exercise for improving the forward head carriage posture is performed by lying on your back on a bed so that the edge of the bed is at the middle of the neck and head is dangling off the bed. Take a tightly rolled up towel (a hand size towel works well) and place it under the neck so that is resting on the edge of the bed so that your head can fall back towards the floor. Take some deep breaths and concentrate on relaxing all your neck muscles. Periodically, slowly rotate your head left to right, right to left, and “feel” the different muscles stretch as you do this. If you can afford 15 minutes, that’s PERFECT! But, if you only have a few minutes it’s still GREAT!

            Between maintaining a chin tuck upright posture and retraining the curve in your neck with the head hang off the bed exercise, you’ll feel (and look) much better! 

A cervical pillow such as Tempur-Pedic, can also help to restore and maintain the curve in your neck. 

            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your health-care services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

To schedule a complimentary consultation for headaches and neck pain treatment in San Francisco, call 415-392-2225 and mention this article. 

Related Articles:

How Poor Workstation Posture Causes Neck Pain and Headaches

Chiropractic and Migraine Headaches

How Stress Causes Headaches

The Best Exercise for Forward Head Posture

Serving 94111 zip code and surrounding areas for 20 years

 

Eben Davis

I am a Chiropractor in the San Francisco Financial District specializing in chronic neck, arm and hand pain. I also treat herniated discs using spinal decompression, whiplash, sports injuries, headaches, and Fibromyalgia. My clinic is certified in the use of Deep Tissue Laser Therapy with the LiteCure LCT-1000 for conditions such as shoulder pain, TMJ and Plantar Fasciitis. I have been in practice for over 20 years.

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