“One of the best ways to start off your day on the right foot is to begin your day by thinking about the things you are grateful for.”
Today will be better. I will focus on the things for which I am grateful while continuing to work on solutions. I will avoid allowing anyone to get me off track with regard to my personal vibrations. I figured if I actually list the things for which I am grateful, I am forced to think about them, and avoid being dragged down the rabbit hole of despair.
What I am grateful for today
Today is an absolutely beautiful day. I can see the rolling green landscape of Williamson county from the comfort of my desk. It is absolutely breathtaking when I stop everything else, clear my head, and just take it all in.
My 18 year old daughter Carmen is in Los Angeles for an internship. One of the projects with which she is involved is the “save the river” project. She wondered “why are they trying to save a dirty old river?” During the presentation she realized most people of downtown LA never see nature in their day to day lives. They see concrete. In that moment she realized how much she had taken for granted by growing up in Williamson county, where nature is literally all around us.
Since then, I notice the piece of heaven God has given us here in the South. It is literally an Eden for me if I would only open my eyes and focus on IT and HIM, rather than the negative.
A cervicogenic headache is a headache disorder that affects an estimated 2.2% of the population. What makes a cervicogenic headache different from other headaches is that it is not truly a headache; it is actually a type of referred pain. Referred pain is when the body perceives pain in a location different from where the actual pain is. For example, sometimes when you hit your “funny bone” you may feel a pain in your shoulder. In this case, the headache pain is being referred from bones or soft tissues in the neck. The upper cervical spinal cord has many bundles of nerves that transfer sensation between the neck and the head, which allows for the referral of pain.
How Cervicogenic Headaches Are Diagnosed
Diagnosing a cervicogenic headache can be a difficult process. Though diagnostic criteria are established, often times the presenting patient’s symptoms are hard to tell apart from those of a migraine, tension headache, or other headache disorder. The approach to diagnosing a cervicogenic headache (and also treating it) is multi-disciplined. The diagnostic factors are:
- Usually, cervicogenic headaches are unilateral, meaning they start on one side at the back of the head, migrate towards the front, and sometimes cause arm pain.
- Misalignment, muscle spasms, or other cervical dysfunction during a manual exam.
- Headaches that occur when pressing on a trigger point in the neck or head.
- Sustained neck positions which aggravate the pain.
- X-rays and other imaging returns with normal results.
- Occasionally nausea and/or dizziness.
Some types of cervicogenic headaches cause bilateral pain, and the headache starts out as neck pain or the neck pain exists along with the headache. In this form, the pain is exacerbated by certain movements of the neck. This form of headache is more common in occupations like hair-dressing, truck driving, or carpentry.
Who Gets Cervicogenic Headaches?
Roughly 47% of the world’s population suffers from headaches, and it is estimated that 15-20% of those are cervicogenic. Some research suggests that adults with neck pain are more susceptible to cervicogenic headaches. It has also been noted that four times as many females as males get cervicogenic headaches. During an examination, a doctor will consider any history of trauma, as well as the age of the patient. Usually, younger patients (ages 10-13) have dysfunction in the lower cervical spine, whereas older patients tend to have dysfunction in the upper cervical spine.
How Are Cervicogenic Headaches Treated?
Like diagnosis, treatment should be multi-disciplined. Usually, it is a combination of posture adjustment, massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture, steroid injections, hydrotherapy, and medication. Most patients (70%) are pain-free within a month.
To learn more or to seek treatment, contact KCA Neurology in Franklin and Clarksville, TN at 615.550.1800.