Can individuals dealing with headaches find the relief they are looking for from acupuncture to reduce pain-like symptoms?
Table of Contents
As part of the musculoskeletal system, the neck is part of the upper body portions and allows the head to be mobile through full rotations without pain and discomfort. The surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons help protect the cervical spinal region and have a fantastic relationship with the shoulders. However, the neck area can succumb to injuries, leading to pain-like symptoms that can cause pain and discomfort in the upper regions. One of the pain-like symptoms that correlates with neck pain is headaches. Headaches can vary in acute to chronic stages as they affect many individuals and the various factors that correlate with them. When headaches start to form, many individuals will look at multiple treatments to reduce the pain-like symptoms that correlate with headaches and have the relief they deserve. Today’s article looks at the various factors that correlate with headaches, how headaches cause overlapping risk profiles with neck pain, and how treatments like acupuncture can reduce headaches. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to provide treatments like acupuncture to minimize headaches. We also inform and guide patients on how acupuncture can benefit many individuals dealing with neck pain associated with headaches. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricated and important questions about their pain-like symptoms that correlate with headaches and neck pain. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.
The Various Factors Correlating Headaches
Have you been experiencing tension around the back of your neck after a long day? Do you feel a dull ache after staring at the computer or phone screen? Or do you feel a pounding sensation that you must lie down for a few minutes? Many of these pain-like scenarios are associated with headaches that affect many individuals from time to time. Headaches are correlated with various biochemical and metabolic risk profiles or changes that cause central sensitization and neuronal dysfunction. (Walling, 2020) This causes many individuals to develop acute or chronic pain-like symptoms that affect their heads and various locations around the face and the neck area. Some of the multiple factors that can lead to the development of headaches include:
- Inability to sleep
- Lack of water and food
- Traumatic injuries
- Bright strobing lights
Additionally, other factors like obesity can become a strong risk factor for secondary headaches like migraines to have symptoms of intracranial hypertension impact the body. (Fortini & Felsenfeld Junior, 2022) This could lead to the development of neck pain caused by headaches.
Headaches & Neck Pain
When it comes to headaches associated with neck pain, many individuals will experience tension and pain in the surrounding muscles and the ongoing symptoms. Neck pain can cause overlapping risk profiles to muscles, ligaments, facet joints, and visceral structures of the neck that can trigger the development of a headache or become a symptom that co-exists with a neck disorder. (Vicente et al., 2023) Additionally, neck pain and headaches are strongly associated as muscular pain plays a role in headache development as they provide negative consequences within their social lives. Headaches can hinder a person’s ability to concentrate, while neck pain causes limited mobility and stiffness. (Rodriguez-Almagro et al., 2020)
Tension Headaches Overview- Video
Acupuncture Reducing Headaches
When individuals are dealing with headaches, many will incorporate home remedies to reduce the tension they are experiencing from the various factors. This can provide temporary relief to mitigate the effects of the pain-like symptoms associated with headaches. However, when the pain from headaches becomes unbearable with neck pain in the mix, that is where non-surgical treatments could be the answer. Non-surgical treatments are effective on pain caused by headaches and customized to the person’s pain. For example, acupuncture could help with headaches and neck pain. Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of non-surgical treatments; highly trained professionals use solid thin needles to be placed in various acupoints in the body to restore energy flow and reducing pain associated with headaches. (Turkistani et al., 2021)
Acupuncture can even help reduce the frequency and duration of headaches while disrupting the pain signals and help provide insight into the positive effects of pain reduction. (Li et al., 2020) When people start incorporating acupuncture as part of their health and wellness treatment plan, they will feel their headaches reduced and their neck mobility back to normal. Through consecutive treatment, they will feel much better and become more aware of the various factors pertaining to headache production while making small changes to reduce their chances of returning.
Fortini, I., & Felsenfeld Junior, B. D. (2022). Headaches and obesity. Arq Neuropsiquiatr, 80(5 Suppl 1), 204-213. doi.org/10.1590/0004-282X-ANP-2022-S106
Li, Y. X., Xiao, X. L., Zhong, D. L., Luo, L. J., Yang, H., Zhou, J., He, M. X., Shi, L. H., Li, J., Zheng, H., & Jin, R. J. (2020). Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Migraine: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Pain Res Manag, 2020, 3825617. doi.org/10.1155/2020/3825617
Rodriguez-Almagro, D., Achalandabaso-Ochoa, A., Molina-Ortega, F. J., Obrero-Gaitan, E., Ibanez-Vera, A. J., & Lomas-Vega, R. (2020). Neck Pain- and Unsteadiness-Inducing Activities and their Relationship to the Presence, Intensity, Frequency, and Disability of Headaches. Brain Sci, 10(7). doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10070425
Turkistani, A., Shah, A., Jose, A. M., Melo, J. P., Luenam, K., Ananias, P., Yaqub, S., & Mohammed, L. (2021). Effectiveness of Manual Therapy and Acupuncture in Tension-Type Headache: A Systematic Review. Cureus, 13(8), e17601. doi.org/10.7759/cureus.17601
Vicente, B. N., Oliveira, R., Martins, I. P., & Gil-Gouveia, R. (2023). Cranial Autonomic Symptoms and Neck Pain in Differential Diagnosis of Migraine. Diagnostics (Basel), 13(4). doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics13040590
Walling, A. (2020). Frequent Headaches: Evaluation and Management. American Family Physician, 101(7), 419-428. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32227826
The information herein on "Say Goodbye to Headaches: Acupuncture Solutions" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.
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