Headaches are a major problem in the United States.  Many people suffer, but not many people understand why they have their headaches.

One of the more common causes of headaches is improper blood flow into and out of the brain.  

The brain gets its main blood supply from your vertebral arteries and carotid arteries.  The vertebral arteries go through the bones of the cervical spine.  Most of the area that this one vessel goes through is stable, but the upper cervical spine can get misaligned much easier than the rest of the spine. When it gets misaligned, it can decrease blood flow to the brain.

Dr. Chris Slininger, DC, DCCJP, who is an Upper Cervical Specialist, joined Gayle Guyardo the host of the global health and wellness show Bloom to share relief options for headache and migraine sufferers.

“When the brain does not get enough blood delivered to it, it’s deprives the brain of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to work at its best. To break it down very simply, all nerves, need oxygen, nutrients, and activation, in order to work the best. So, poor blood flow will compromise two of these three major needs, making the nerves weak. This is a significant cause of headaches.”, said Dr. Slininger.

He went on to say, “The brain also needs to get the blood out effectively. The main blood vessels that help the blood exit the skull are the jugular veins on the front side of the spine.  These blood vessels sit right in front of the atlas bone, which is right at the top of the neck.  As we already said, the upper neck gets misaligned much more easily than the rest of the spine.”  

Dr. Slininger also added, “We find that quite a few people that have headaches, especially pressure headaches, also have a misalignment of the upper neck that compresses the jugular veins.”

Dr. Slininger explained, when the jugular veins get compressed, it backs up blood flow in the brain causing pressure to increase. So, blood is being brought into the skull, but it can’t get out very effectively.  Naturally, this will increase the fluid pressure inside the skull.

“One of the first steps to resolving headaches without medication would be to have an upper cervical chiropractor evaluate your upper cervical spine. This is a specialized type of care within the chiropractic field that takes a gentle and precise approach to correct in one of the most sensitive areas of the spine – the upper neck.  By evaluating incorrect in the upper cervical spine first, you are not just dealing with the symptoms of the headache like pain and pressure. You were dealing with the problem and the dysfunction inside your brain at its root.”, said Dr. Slininger. 

He went on to say, “When dealing with headaches, always deal with the root of the problem first, and always approach it with the most likely explanation first. People do not get headaches without a reason.  The goal is to find that reason and correct it. So seek an upper cervical expert where you are to help you with this problem.”

BLOOM is Tampa Bay’s only daily 1-hour TV show focusing on health & lifestyle.

You can watch weekdays at 2:00pm only on WFLA News Channel 8 — with an encore broadcast late night 3:00am. Tune into BLOOM and watch your life grow!

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