Hi there. Dr. Dennis Barley here again, your chiropractor for headaches in Fairhaven, MA.
We’re going to talk a little bit about how, at Barley Wellness, we use chiropractic to eliminate headaches.
So after your history that you filled out and you sit with one of our doctors and you consult with a doctor, explaining past injuries, past traumas, etc. The doctor will then do a comprehensive examination, which will be ranges of motion, musculoskeletal examinations, neurological, orthopedic.
And then from there, if it’s determined that you have a problem that we should take a closer look at, we may take some digital x-rays. And then from there, we’ll give you a report on what’s actually going on in your spine and what’s the cause of your headaches.
As I may have mentioned in the past, or you’ve seen me demonstrate before, this is a spinal column, a plastic replica. This is the cervical spine, okay? The neck area, back of the skull, okay? And then these thoracic spine mid-back and the lower back.
Many headaches stem from the upper back into the neck region. The irritation, when a vertebra, I’m going to show it on a lower vertebra so it makes it a little easier, but if a vertebra misaligns, gets traumatically misaligned, we can see that it irritates a nerve.
This nerve is cut here. You need to know that this spinal nerve that comes out of your spine, just one of these will branch at least a million times, and there are three components to each one of these.
There’s something called your motor component, and that basically innervates or goes to the muscles of this region or this region, wherever that’s getting irritated. There’s a second component called the sensory component, and that’s where you feel burning, tingling, numbness, pain. That’s your sensory or pain sensing part of that nerve. And the third component is the visceral component. The visceral component innervates glands and organs in the area.
So, if we have a misalignment in the upper cervical region or anywhere in the cervical region, we can get irritation to a nerve, and if it irritates the motor part of the nerve, it can make a muscle tight.
Now here’s the dangerous thing about, what we call one of these is a subluxation, a misalignment pinching a nerve. In chiropractic, that’s called a subluxation.
The dangerous thing about that is, remember I said there were three branches and then they branch millions of times, but if I were to look inside this little spinal nerve root, this hose here, there’d be three branches.
Only one deals with pain. So I could have a misalignment irritating a nerve and not know that I have anything wrong with me.
The only way that I, myself, as a chiropractor know if I have a problem is I go to one of my chiropractors here at the office. And the same thing with you.
If your headache is being caused by a spinal misalignment or a subluxation irritating a nerve, again, you may not have pain there, but you may be developing a headache or other symptoms that we’ll talk about later.