There are many different types of headaches but the cause for roughly 20% of chronic headache sufferers is suboccipital headaches. The suboccipital region is located at the base of the skull and top part of the cervical spine (neck). There are 4 muscles in the suboccipital group.
- Rectus Capitis Posterior Major
- Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor
- Obliquus Capitis Inferior
- Obliquus Capitis Superior
These four muscles attach from the C1 and C2 vertebra to the base of the skull and provide movement of the head and neck. When the suboccipital muscles are in spasm, dysfunctional, and tender, it can cause one or many of the following symptoms:
- Pain at the base of the skull
- Neck pain
- Pain on one or both sides of the head
- Pain on top of the head
- Pain in the forehead
- Pain behind one or both eyes
Do these types of symptoms sound familiar? The increased tightness and spasm of the suboccipital muscles is most commonly caused by upper cervical spine dysfunction. Remember, these muscles attach directly to the C1 and C2 vertebra. If C1 or C2 is mis-aligned or stuck and cannot move properly, then the biomechanics are functioning abnormally. Abnormal biomechanics of C1 and/or C2 leads to secondary suboccipital muscle spasm.
Thus, a biomechanical problem involving C1 and/or C2 will not require a chemical treatment (advil, motrin, Excedrin) but a biomechanical treatment. Chiropractic adjustments provide the biomechanical treatment required to effectively relieve the suboccipital muscle spasm.
Many patients experience improvement in the severity, frequency, and duration of their suboccipital headaches after just a few chiropractic adjustments. The reason relief can be achieved in a fairly short period of time is because there is no safer, more effective, and faster treatment to restore proper biomechanics to the C1 and C2 region than a chiropractic adjustment.
I have helped many patients in Roseville, MN, Arden Hills, MN, Saint Paul, MN, Falcon Heights, MN, and Shoreview, MN achieve fast and effective suboccipital headache treatment and relief. If you suffer from suboccipital headaches contact my office today for a consultation.