Headache and injuries of the ligaments of the cervical vertebrae
Question: True or not: headaches can occur due to damage to the ligaments of the vertebrae C5, C6 and C7.
Answer: A reflected headache usually occurs only when the ligaments of the upper cervical vertebrae are damaged.
Headache is often reflected pain (radiating) and occurs due to damage to the ligaments of the vertebrae C2 and C3 (supraspinatus and transversal ligaments). Of course, there can be many causes of headaches and neck injuries, but, based on my experience, I can say with certainty that some of them are quite easy to incorrectly identify and interpret.
Headache has been bothering people around the world since time immemorial, as evidenced by the numerous references to this problem in various sources, including ancient Chinese and Egyptian. In Russia, at least a third of the adult population suffers from chronic headaches, and 60-70 percent complain periodically of migraines.
For some people, a headache is just an annoying trifle, but sometimes it can seriously impair a person’s quality of life, unsettle him, interfere with work and daily activities. Every year, 9-11 million people turn to doctors complaining of severe headaches.
Headache can be localized in the back of the head, forehead, both temples, deep in one or both eyes, or even behind the eyes. Sometimes such pain can be girdle, that is, to surround the head above the ears or even higher. The pain can be acute, pulsating, it can affect hearing and vision, and in the most severe cases it can affect the flow of thought processes – everyone knows that with severe migraines it is impossible to concentrate.
In all the cases described above, a headache can radiate (reflect) from damaged ligaments of the upper cervical vertebrae.
Most often, damage to the ligaments of the cervical vertebrae causes tensile headaches (but they are felt like pains in muscles, in superficial tissues, and not inside the head). A thorough differential diagnosis is necessary to distinguish such headaches from those caused by stress, fatigue and nervous tension. Sometimes headaches have two reasons at once – muscle strain and damage to ligaments.
In fact, in most cases, headaches are caused by a combination of many factors. For example, they can occur as a result of a concussion, be a symptom of more than two hundred different diseases, allergies, individual sensitivity to certain substances, and they can also occur with prolonged exposure to light from fluorescent lamps (fluorescent radiation).
The correct determination of the cause of headache development is the key to the effectiveness of subsequent treatment.
Sometimes a headache, the cause of which is a head or neck injury, can occur several weeks after a person is injured – for example, this happens with a whiplash injury to the neck. Often a person forgets that he was injured and does not associate headaches with her, because the neck by that time ceases to hurt. This complicates the diagnosis, as a discussion with the client of the possible causes of the headache may not give the desired result. That whiplash neck injury often causes pain radiating to the head. They arise due to mechanical damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons of the neck.
The formation of scar tissue during injuries of the ligaments, muscles, or tendons is one of the main causes of this type of headache (reflected headache). Scars form on the site of the damaged fibers, and their tissue is absolutely not functional (i.e., it cannot replace the original tissue). Various movements of the neck lead to additional tears, as a result of the healing process of which even more scar tissue is formed.
It does not resolve itself – the body cannot cope with it, as a result of which the intensity of the reflected pain only increases.
Friction therapy, combined with classic massage and a properly designed system of physical exercises, helps to cope with scar formation.
Get rid of scar tissue, restore neck mobility and your client’s headache caused by various neck injuries will pass soon. Health to you!