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Unfortunately, a HUGE portion of the American population suffers from headaches, many of them chronically.  Often, headache pain becomes debilitating and sometimes even requires a trip to the emergency room.  More often, headache sufferers simple over utilize over the counter medicines like Tylenol or Excedrin, which as its own set of complications and problems to one’s health long-term.  While there are many different types and reasons for headaches, here is a list of some of the most common bio-mechanical causes of headaches.  You don’t have to live with headache pain every day!  See which one of the types of headache pain you’re experiencing below.


Types of (biomechanical) headaches:

Tension type headache:  

This is the most common type of biomechanical cause headache.  It is often described as squeezing or a tight “band” around one’s head. It can be induced by stress, but more often related to loss of the normal forward curve (lordosis0 in the sufferer’s neck making the susceptible to postural stress.  Eventually the patient’s neck and head muscles fatigue to the point of failure and simple go into spasm, causing a headache.

Sub-Occipital (back of the head) type headaches: 

Another common type of headache is the kind that starts off at the base of the skull and extends up over the front of the skull into the forehead or behind the eyes.  This type of headache is particularly frustrating for patients, as it is highly correlated with a specific upper cervical joint dysfunction that is often missed or inadequately treated.  A specifically designed spinal adjusting apparatus has been created exclusively for this type of headache case and has been skillfully applied at the Lancaster Spinal Health Center clinics for over 15 years.


Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) type headaches:


One of the most complex and under diagnosed types of biomechanical headaches are related to temporomandibular joint dysfunction.  These headaches are often one sided and “shoot” behind on of the eyes. Most patients with this type of headache pain wake up with a headache from clenching their teeth at night causing temporal muscle spasms.  Treatment for TMJ type headaches generally includes specialized jaw joint rehab, as well as cervical (neck) spine rehab.  Co-management of treatment may be necessary with a dental expert specializing in temporomandibular joint dysfunction depending on the severity of the case and symptoms.


When to seek treatment for headaches:

An occasional headache from time to time is completely normal and may be related to something as simple as dehydration, but chronic or frequent headache pain is a sign that something is wrong.  Careful diagnosis requires a thorough case history, physical examination and x-ray imaging.  Once the biomechanical source of the headache pain has been determined, a comprehensive treatment plan can be created to eliminate the cause of your headaches permanently in most cases.

Potential non- invasive treatment options for headache pain:

•          Percussion massage

•          Auto correcting cervical spine rehabilitation

•          Chiropractic joint mobilization


The doctor and staff at the Lancaster Spinal Health Center has a long history of successfully treating frequent or chronic headache pain and providing a permanent solutions to prevent chronic problems in the future.

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