Most people think that some degree of physical trauma is the main cause of spinal problems. Subluxation, or slight misalignments in the bones of the spine which put pressure on the nervous system, can result from physical, chemical, or mental stress. Physical stresses can arise from situations such as a fall or car accident, or prolonged poor posture or sleeping patterns. Chemical stress can come in the form of toxins that we inhale or poor dietary choices we make. Additionally, emotional and mental stresses can take a toll on your spine and your overall health.
When we experience a stressful situation, one of the common ways our bodies respond is tensing the muscles, especially those in our necks and shoulders. These muscular spasms and knots can then in turn pull your vertebrae out of alignment. This is why it’s important to get your atlas checked in times of increased daily stress!
There is a particular kind of headache that is caused in part by a tightening of muscles in the neck and shoulders, called Cervicogenic Headaches (it’s a technical name for headaches that start from the cervical spine, or neck). There is usually limited range of motion in the neck associated with this type of pain. Pain that originates from the neck can often lead to uncomfortable muscle irritation, which can then contribute to headaches. These are sometimes coined “Stress (or Tension) Headaches” and certainly stress is a contributing factor to these irritating pains in the neck (literally). Pain that’s localized in the neck or base of the skull can also travel up to the eye area, or behind the eyes, and moving the neck a certain way often increases the intensity of the headache.
If you or a loved one is under increased amounts of stress and/or is suffering from tension-type headaches, it’s a good idea to get the spine checked. Sometimes an adjustment of the atlas is all it takes to alleviate the pain.