That Chronic Headache Could be the Result of a Back or Neck Injury

Headaches happen to everyone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the average headache, which might come from lack of sleep, tight headwear, or even an outdated glasses prescription.

While headaches are normal, chronic headaches are not. If you experience headaches more than 15 days per month, you know how disrupting chronic headaches can be to your daily life. When looking for the root of these headaches, don’t forget your neck and back. Any type of spinal injury, from a lower back injury to whiplash in the neck, could be the cause of your chronic headache.

Luckily, there are ways to treat both the origin and symptoms of your chronic headaches. At the Princeton Pain and Spine Institute, Dr. Dinash Yanamadula and the rest of our team can help you solve the mystery of your chronic headaches. With aggressive initial treatment and a custom pain management plan, your headache days might soon be behind you.

Chronic headaches explained

Almost everything that your brain processes, from the touch of your fingers to your stomach’s digestion, goes through your spine before it reaches your brain. If the brain is the downtown core of your body, the spine is the freeway that feeds the traffic in and out.

Like a highway, the spine works best when everything is aligned. When vertebrae (the small bones that form the backbone through which the spinal cord passes) get out of place, you’ll likely suffer the consequences.

Neck pain and chronic headaches

Vertebrae that are out of place in the neck can put pressure on the muscles at the base of the skull, causing inflammation that often makes itself known in the form of a headache. The level of inflammation and its effects on the blood flow to the brain determine the severity of the headache.

Even after your neck injury has healed, the inflammation triggered by it may continue long afterwards. This means that your chronic headache will continue as well.

Back pain and chronic headaches

When vertebrae get out of place lower down the spine, nerves and muscles could be the source of headaches. When muscles are pulled out of place or inflamed by a back injury, their connections to other muscles and tendons can cause a chain reaction of muscles tightening or spasming to compensate. This chain reaction could impact the same muscle associated with neck injury headaches.

Alternatively, the nerves impacted by an injured vertebrae could react by sending pain to the brain. In fact, chronic back pain and chronic headaches have been linked. A study published in the medical journal Pain found a link between lower back pain and headaches: The two go almost hand-in-hand.

Just like headaches triggered by a neck injury, headaches caused by back injuries may last after the initial injury has healed. Pain management is a critical part of treating these chronic headaches.

Chronic headache solutions

Don’t suffer through chronic headaches alone. At Princeton Pain and Spine Institute, we can determine the root of your chronic headaches and establish links to any neck or back injuries you may have suffered. Dr. Yanamadula will work with you to create a custom pain management plan that will treat both the initial injury and the inflammation it may produce. Call our Lawrenceville office or request an appointment online today.

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