Headaches - Common But Definitely NOT Normal

By Dr. Bryant Harris

Do debilitating headaches plague your everyday life?

Maybe you experience an occasional one after a long day at the office or a stressful argument with a loved one.

Regardless of how often you suffer from them or to what degree, you should know that they are NOT normal.

Saying that to prevent future occurrences it might help to understand what they are and potential triggers.

Headaches are typically felt in the head and upper neck - two of the most common places for pain in the body.

There are three categories of headaches, but the most common type is the primary headache, which consists of migraines, tension (aka “normal”) and cluster headaches. Most people will have a primary headache in their life, and, in fact, tension headaches affect up to 90 percent of adults. Sometimes these headaches affect the quality of life, but most primary headaches resolve themselves.

It is not known what causes tension headaches, which are the most common type of headaches, but it is known that they occur due to physical or emotional stress on the body. (You know…these are the headaches you get from staring too long at a computer screen or holding onto stress instead of healthily relieving it. They feel like you have a band compressing your head).

Migraines do not share the same origins as tension headaches; migraine headaches go beyond physical or emotional stress. Migraines are characterized by abnormalities in blood flow to the brain that in turn cause the nerves to expand and release chemicals throughout the body resulting in distinct neurological symptoms.

There are a number of different triggers that could cause migraines including:

  • stress
  • certain odors
  • bright or flickering lights
  • specific foods
  • alcohol
  • cigarette smoke

Migraines are typically more severe, have sensitivity to light,  experience auras and other visual disturbances, nausea, and pins and needle sensations.

Lastly, there are cluster headaches which are experienced by only a small percentage of the population and tend to run in families. These are headaches that come in groups that last for several weeks or months with long, pain-free periods separating them. The pain associated with cluster headaches is generally more severe than that of a tension headache.

Regardless of the type of headaches you might suffer from, I reiterate what was noted before: They are NOT normal and you do not have to suffer needlessly.  But, it might benefit to know what the commonalities (CORE problem) each headache share.

9 times out of 10, we notice that there has been a NeuroStructural Shift that has occurred at the very top of the neck, just underneath the neck between the Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2).  When a shift occurs in this area, aka Atlas Displacement Complex, it can have negative effects on blood flow, normal neurological function, and muscular tension - all culprits in the origination of headaches and migraines. Finding, correcting, and stabilizing this NeuroStructural Shift in the spine can be the lasting solution that you may have been looking for!

Have you been living with your ”normal” headaches for far too long? Maybe it’s time to see if a NeuroStructural Shift has occurred in your head and neck.