Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Headaches? How healthy are your Shoulders?

I treat headaches day in and day out in our office here in Grand Rapids.  It is one of the chief complaints I get.  If you ever have had a bad one, you know how debilitating a nasty headache can be.  I have them describe the type of headache.  Dull, sharp, frontal, temporal, get worse or better as the day goes on, behind the eye, back of the neck...etc.   To the tee, there is always a little bit of fixation in the upper cervical spine.  The suboccipital muscles are hypertonic and one or sometimes both the suboccipital nerve and greater occipital nerve are entrapped in the fascia of the muscles.  I get great results getting rid of these headaches.  Most of the time it's instant relief.  The problem,  they would usually come back in a few weeks.  This didn't and still doesn't sit well with me.  

About a year ago, I started treating the shoulder and making sure the shoulder blade was moving correctly. All of a sudden the levator scapulae muscle wasn't getting so hypertonic.  The upper cervical spine was staying more stable, and the frequency of headaches dropped dramatically.  So if you suffer from headaches,  make sure your keeping your shoulders healthy.  Work to keep the lower trap/serratus combo strong and healthy.  Keep stretching the levator.  The headaches I can bet will drop in frequency.  

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