Why Do We Get Headaches and Migraines?

I get asked this question all the time. Why do we get headaches or migraines?

The answer is it’s complicated.

The neurological pathway for headaches exists to tell us to stop banging our head on things.

The Trigeminal Nerve

If you bang the front of your head on a wall, information is sent into the brainstem via the trigeminal nerve. This information is then processed and a pain message is sent back to the front of the head to tell you to stop banging your head on the wall.

If you bang the back of your head on something the information is sent in via the nerves in the upper neck and the same thing happens – your brainstem tells you to stop banging your head and gives you a headache at the back of the head as a result.

This is why information from the upper 3 levels of your neck is sometimes interpreted by the brainstem to mean you have a headache. Too much neck tension can give you a tension headache, because the information is feeding in through the upper 3 levels of your spine and into the brainstem.

Your brainstem then makes an error and thinks this is information from you banging your head and gives you a headache as a result. The headache might be at the back or the front of the head because the brainstem is not good at interpreting where the information is coming from.

If you get a massage, use a heat pack on the neck or do some relaxation your headache will disappear as the information is no longer feeding into the brainstem.

The Watson Headache Approach looks for a subtle mechanical problem in the upper 3 levels of the neck that other therapists overlook. This subtle mechanical problem causes tension in the joints, muscles, ligaments tendons etc. in this area and all that information is then fed into the brainstem.

This information causes sensitisation of the brainstem in the area responsible for headaches and migraines, and makes it primed to give you head pain.

So if you want to stop your headaches or migraines then contact Bayside Headache Clinic and we can accurately assess and successfully treat your pain. Or stop banging your head on walls.

Call 0423 071 971 for more information or to book an appointment or fill out the form below to request a FREE phone consultation.