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Chiropractic and Occipital Headaches


By: Dr. Robert Neposlan

As you may well be aware by now the focus of our articles are on what I call the 4 Pillars of health – Living, Eating, Moving and Thinking Well. I don’t think anyone would disagree that if your living in pain you’re not really “living well”. But does the absence of pain really mean that we’re healthy? This is not necessarily true. Did you know that 55% of people with heart disease are living symptom free? Did you know that their first symptom is the “big one”, a heart attack? It’s facts like these that motivate me to write these articles. Hopefully you’re enjoying them and incorporating the recommendations included in them to live healthier happier lives.headache

Having said that, I realize that it’s no joy living in pain and that this can make it difficult to live with in the principles of what we have defined for you in our previous articles on the 4 pillars. Medications are never a solution. Our bodies are not symptomatic because we have a shortage of some type of drug. Pain is a signal that something has gone wrong and the body is warning us of this fact. Headaches are an example of this. Today I’d like to consider one type of headache that is actually quite common and one where Chiropractic care can help. It’s the occipital based headache.

What causes these types of headaches? Well…generally, they occur because of a whiplash injury, a fall or some other type of trauma to that area of the head. Because of this trauma, the occipital nerves that originate in the upper cervical spine may become compressed, inflamed or trapped by the muscles they pass through. This results in muscle spasms and pain that travels along the path of the occipital nerve.

The pain associated with this type of headache seems to begin in the upper neck and radiates to the back, top, front and sides of the head and often into the area directly behind the eyes.

As with many types of headaches, occipital headaches tend to occur more often in women and chiropractic care has been shown to be effective in reducing their occurrence. In one study, each of 332 participants received an average of 8.6 chiropractic adjustments. Of the total number of participants, an impressive 80% reported almost a 100% improvement in their headaches!

If you or someone you know is experiencing this type of headache, or any other type of headache for that matter, please schedule a visit with our office. We have had a great deal of success in working with patients who experience chronic headache pain, and we never tire of seeing patients reclaim their lives, leaving behind their headaches and the medications they had been using just to survive!

Until next week,

Live well

Dr. Rob

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