headache from neck pain

Headaches, ‘A Pain In The Neck’?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘cervicogenic headache‘? If you were to consult the International Society for Headache Research, you would discover a category of headache known as ‘cervicogenic headache’, which essentially means a headache caused by issues in the neck and its tissues. It’s more common than most people, including doctors (but probably not chiropractors), might expect.

Chiropractors have known for nearly 100 years that the neck is a major cause of headaches. And now medical science is catching up to them.

Mr Nikolai Bogduk, a medical researcher and leading expert in the microanatomy of the human nervous system, has discovered significant overlaps between the sensory nerve pathways of the neck and the head. This discovery makes it easy for a neck problem to be felt as a headache. In fact, many headache or migraine sufferers report that their headaches start in their neck or they feel neck pain during their headache/migraine episodes. These individuals also experience more frequent neck pain than the average person, indicating a strong connection between neck pain, neck problems, and headaches. Chiropractors can help address these issues and provide relief to those suffering from cervicogenic headaches.

If you were to ask a traditional medical practitioner about headaches like migraines, they would tell you that changes in blood flow to the brain are the primary cause. While this may be true for migraines and possibly tension headaches, it is important to note that changes in blood flow could be triggered by neck issues. Research has shown that there are connections between the sensory nerve pathways of the neck and head, which means that a problem in the neck can be felt in the head. This is where a chiropractor can come into play.

As a chiropractor, I work in the pain management trenches and have found that most headache/migraine sufferers have deep knots in the muscles at the top of their neck, as well as stiffness, locking, and inflammation of the small weight-bearing joints. Additionally, many have a limited range of motion in their spinal joints. By addressing these issues, we have reduced headaches for many patients. 

So if you have been wondering whether neck problems could cause your headaches, the answer is a definite and resounding YES – and there is help available through chiropractic care.

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Can A Chiropractor Fix My Shoulder Pain?

Can A Chiropractor Fix My Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Here at City Chiropractic, shoulder pain is something we are well versed in dealing with. Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, repetitive strain, or underlying medical conditions. When it comes to treating shoulder pain, chiropractors can offer a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to traditional medical treatments.

In this blog, we will discuss the causes of shoulder pain and how chiropractors can help relieve it.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  1. Rotator Cuff Injuries: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. Injury to these muscles and tendons can result in pain and limited range of motion.
  2. Tendinitis: Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. When these tendons become inflamed, it can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder.
  3. Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joints. When these sacs become inflamed, it can cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder.
  4. Frozen Shoulder: Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful, making it difficult to move.
  5. Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation in the joints, including the shoulder joint. This can result in pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.

How Chiropractors Treat Shoulder Pain

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions, including shoulder pain. After a thorough examination and assessment of the patient’s medical history, chiropractors can develop a personalised treatment plan to address the underlying causes of shoulder pain.

Chiropractic treatment for shoulder pain may include:

  1. Chiropractic Adjustments: Chiropractic adjustments involve applying gentle force to the affected joint to help restore proper alignment and range of motion.
  2. Soft Tissue Therapy: Soft tissue therapy involves the use of massage and stretching techniques to help relieve tension and pain in the muscles and tendons surrounding the shoulder joint.
  3. Rehabilitation Exercises: Chiropractors may prescribe specific exercises to help strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion in the shoulder joint.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Chiropractors may also recommend lifestyle modifications, such as ergonomic adjustments or changes in exercise routines, to help prevent future episodes of shoulder pain.

In Conclusion

Shoulder pain can be a debilitating condition that can affect your daily life. Chiropractors offer a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to traditional medical treatments for shoulder pain. By addressing the underlying causes of shoulder pain, chiropractors can help relieve pain, improve range of motion, and restore function to the affected joint. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, consider consulting a chiropractor to see if chiropractic care may be right for you.

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Headaches, ‘A Pain In The Neck’?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘cervicogenic headache’? If you were to consult the International Society for Headache Research, you would discover a category of headache known as ‘cervicogenic headache’, which essentially means a headache caused by issues in the neck and its tissues. It’s more common than most people, including doctors (but probably not chiropractors), might expect.

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A Century Of Treating Back Pain

Back pain in the early 20th century was commonly attributed to ‘rheumatism’, with little explanation provided in clear biomechanical terms. However, given the World War and the subsequent devastation wrought by the Spanish flu, it is clear that there were more pressing matters on people’s minds at that time.

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My Migraine Blog

My Migraine Blog


The estimated global prevalence of migraine is 14.7% (that’s around 1 in 7 people).  Migraine affects x3 as many women as men. Research implies that 3,000 migraine attacks occur a day for every million people. There are estimated to be over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK alone. So you can at least be sure that if you have a migraine headache at any given moment you are far from being alone.

To a fairly large extent western medicine has shrugged its shoulders with regard to the migraine issue and understandably gone about the business of helping with things it is better at. That is unless you consider pills that relive the pain of migraine to be a satisfactory conclusion (most migraine sufferers would rather find a resolution to their problem). There is research conducted on the topic of migraine but very little relative to their prevalence. There are no massive research budgets out there for the study of migraine and headache causes, and I guarantee you  that 99% of doctors have not give the the cause of migraine much thought since well before they left medical school. You could argue that the relative effectiveness of migraine headache medications in limiting attacks justifies this relaxed attitude.

The outcome of all this indifference is what you might expect. Heaps of people with unresolved migraines. A loose general consensus that migraine headaches are something to do with blood flow to the brain, and a shortlist of pharmaceuticals that can must definitely help with an attack in most cases. To their credit your doctor may also be happy to talk to you about food trigger avoidance but that’s probably not anything you couldn’t figure out for yourself.

So the question is whether there is anything more to the treatment and understanding of migraines than a shrug and bottle of pills. So, what if you are a migraine sufferer and you aren’t happy with the outcomes your get from trigger avoidance and taking a pill when that fails? Is there anything more to the migraine headache story? And can a chiropractor help potentially?

What Really Causes Migraine

To be clear, my chiropractors version of the migraine headache story is not proven scientifically and in fact has yet to be studied scientifically either. As you will see though its not entirely chiropractor waffle – and there are some scientific foundations to the theory that make it pretty solid. In the end however, this chiropractors explanation of migraines is currently a matter of clinical experience – handed down though generations of practically minded practitioners and healers to the present day.

Migraines are caused by chronic muscles tension and soft tissue irritation in the neck!!!!

It feels good just to just to have that out here in the open doesn’t it? Feel free to say it out loud 3 times, go on see how it feels There are a percentage of you reading who kinda knew this all along, because you could feel it.

Chronic muscles tension & chronic soft tissue irritation in the scalp, jaw, neck and shoulders, that’s fundamentally what causes migraines. Now that you know this, the next questions are how? why ? and ultimately  what can we potentially do about it (with our chiropractors help).

How Does The Neck Cause Migraine?

So let’s say that the chiropractor is right about that cause of migraines, how can muscle and soft tissue tension in the scalp, jaw, neck and shoulders cause a migraine? After all – migraines are felt in the head, behind the eye and involve all sorts of strange symptoms like sensitivity to light, nausea and visual disturbances that we wouldn’t usually associate with muscle tension.

Muscle tension bad enough to cause migraines comes from 3 main sources.

    1. Old Injuries like whiplash
    2. Postural Issues
    3. Stress and suppression of emotions

As any chiropractor will tell you, old injuries in the neck can lead to chronic muscles and soft tissues issues if they don’t heal successfully.  The human neck is a delicate weight bearing column that has to support an unusually large cranium. The neck never gets a single day off in its entire lifetime of performing its supporting role for the head. The difficulty of its job and the lack of rest mean that without extensive rehab many of life’s knocks don’t recover fully.

Postural issues like those millions of people take to the chiropractors cause persistent compression of the soft tissues in the neck. The tissues in the neck are design to bear loads obviously, but like any load bearing structure the neck has its limits. If you spend year after year with stubborn postural compression playing out in your neck you can end up with ALOT of stiffness, ALOT of tension and ALOT of inflammation. It is worth knowing that like so many states of unwellness and disease in the body all this can go ‘unfelt’ for large portions of time.

Stress and suppression of emotions can generate a huge amount of pressure in the neck, scalp, jaw and shoulders over time. The tension we hold in our necks is invisible to onlookers and so normal for many of us that we don’t even register it. This type of tension can be so severe though that is can cause serious neck pain, osteoarthritis, headaches and in some people it can even wear down the hardest structure in the body.. tooth enamel. Dentists and chiropractors are both the friends of the jaw clenchers!

All the above sources of trauma and tension to the soft tissues in the neck have the potential to generate migraines. The way in which the tissues do this is much the same as the way sciatic pain can come from the lower back. Sciatic pain is felt in the back of the leg but the pain is caused deep in the lower back and pelvis.

Migraine headache pain is felt in temple and behind the eye usually but comes from the chiropractors mainstay –  inflammation of muscles and soft tissue in the neck, jaw, shoulder and scalp.

The above statement is not a wild theory. There is in fact a sound scientific basis for this theory, as researchers have found nerve pathways that may explain this mechanism of referred migraine headache pain.

Why Me?

The question of why we get migraines is tied up with the answers above. We get migraines when our muscle and soft tissues get so ‘out of whack’ that exotic pain pathways are activate in our head and neck areas.

In another sense there is a broader and deeper ‘why’ behind the migraine topic. We get migraines because some part of our wellbeing has been neglected.

You really can’t get migraines unless you have seriously neglected some aspect of your wellbeing. To be clear about this ‘neglect’ can happen completely unintentionally and unwittingly, it is often not a deliberate thing.

If you have an old injury in your neck that has not been rehabilitated it basically a form of accidental neglect of a body part that has been seriously in need of some chiropractic style TLC.

If your posture has got so bad that compression of your neck tissues has lead to migraine headaches, you have definitely neglected your bodies need for the right kind of movements. This includes allowing weakness to creep into the muscles of the upper back.

But what about if emotional stress in your neckshoulder and jaw has caused you to develop migraine headaches. Is that a form of neglect? When emotions are allowed to build up so much that they make us sick it does mean that something has been neglected. Usually that something is an ‘inner voice’ that has been trying to tell us something for a long time. Many of us are absolute masters at suppressing emotions and those of us who are best at it often get sick in one way or another. Suppressing emotions that are felt over and over is in itself just another form of neglect that ultimately does us harm.

What Can We Do About It?

The great news is that there is a lot that can be done to help the majority of migraine headache cases. Usually a process of reversing whatever neglect lead them to become a problem in the first place.

The start point on the journey is always identifying the the underlying cause of the migraines. This is usually possible to achieve within the confines of a 45 minute conversation about your history of migraines with someone who is experienced in treating them.. like the right chiropractor.

Once you know what is causing your migraines a tentative plan of management can be formed and treatment can get underway. Treatment for migraines generally involves a range of safe, non-invasive  ‘manual therapies’ for the soft tissues of the neck, jaw and shoulders.

Acupressure, neuromuscular release, scar tissue stretching, spinal manipulation, postural exercises, traction and vibration massage all have a part to play in this process. Not all migraine headache sufferers respond to the same kind of treatment so when it comes to managing them variety is definitely the spice!


The word freedom conjurs up many possible images in the mind. Often areas of life like money, relationships and travel are associated with freedom. There is a deeper layer to the topic of freedom however, one that only those who have been sick or in pain really understand.

The freedom to be able to simple stand sit or lie without pain, the freedom to choose what you want to do with your day, the freedom to be able to get through a days work in comfort. These are the most basic ingredients of a life that feels ‘free’. Living with chronic migraines headaches and any other type of persistent pain is a major box that must be ticked in order to have a lasting experience of that kind of freedom. At the deepest level of our experience being pain free is a freedom issue, and an important one at that.

To listen to this article’s audio version click below: 

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A Very Brief History Of Chiropractors

A Very Brief History Of Chiropractors


Understanding that the spine is a fundamental part of human wellness dates back to ancient Greek philosophers.

Hippocrates, an ancient Greek philosopher who’s often referred to as the father of modern medicine, stated that anyone looking to achieve health and wellness should “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”

Chiropractic care has evolved since ancient Greek times, and what was once merely observed by chiropractors is now backed by science.

Chiropractic has grown tremendously in New Zealand and has had a dramatic impact, and has been a global leader in the profession. Here’s a breakdown of some of the milestones in the timeline of chiropractors’ care of people:


Daniel David Palmer commences practice as a “chiropractor.” after he adjusts the spine of a deaf janitor and observes vast improvements in his condition.


Daniel David Palmer opens the first chiropractic educational institution to train others in the field. 


U.S. states have begun to recognize and license the practice of chiropractic, with Kansas being the first. Louisiana was the last state in 1974.


The first trained Chiropractic, Dr Henry Otterholt, arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand. Tom Giles has already been practising in New Zealand since 1910 and soon goes abroad for training. 


The New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association is established.


Canada also introduced licenced practises. Alberta is the first and Ontario follows in 1925. Newfoundland was the last province, in 1992.


As chiropractors practise grows, the U.S. Council of State Chiropractic Examining Boards is established to help regulate and provide unified standards for licensure..


Chiropractic practise spreads outside North America and The Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, becomes the first jurisdiction outside North America to license the practice of chiropractic.


The Foundation for Chiropractors Education and Research (FCER) is established and becomes the profession’s foremost agency for funding of postgraduate scholarship and research.


New Zealand passes the Chiropractors Act. New Zealand was the first country to have established legislation to govern the chiropractic profession. 


The U.S. Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) is recognized by the federal government as the accrediting agency for schools of chiropractic. This leads to the development of affiliated agencies in Australasia, Canada, Europe and most recently Latin America.


A stand out point not just in New Zealand, but globally was The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the chiropractic profession.


This was to assess the merits of having chiropractors treatments subsidised by the government and funded by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) This was the first government commission to adopt a full judicial procedure, hearing evidence on oath and subject to cross-examination when examining patients, chiropractors, medical doctors and others on the role of the chiropractic profession. 


A lawsuit against the American Medical Association (known as Wilk vs American Medical Association) rules against the American Medical Association. It was found that the American Medical Association actively attempted to discredit the practise of chiropractic. A primary method to achieve this goal was to make it unethical for medical physicians to professionally associate with chiropractors.


This ruling opens the way for much greater cooperation between medical and chiropractic doctors in education, research and practice in the U.S. and, as a result, internationally.


World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) is formed. The WFC, whose members are national associations of chiropractors in over 85 countries, is admitted into official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a non-governmental organization or NGO in January 1997.


The Manga Report in Canada, the first government-commissioned report by health economists looking at the cost-effectiveness of chiropractors services.

The report recommends that chiropractors have a key role in managing back pain patients as it’s cost effective, safe and enjoyed by patients. 


Government-sponsored expert panels developing evidence-based guidelines for the management of patients with back pain in the U.S. (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) and the U.K. (Clinical Standards Advisory Group) provide the first authoritative reports that manipulation is a proven and preferred treatment approach for most acute low-back pain patients.


U.S. government begins official funding support for an ongoing agenda for chiropractic research through the National Institutes of Health.


The first year in which there were more chiropractic schools outside the United States (17) than in the United States (16). By 2007 there were 23 recognized schools outside the United States, most recently schools in Japan, Malaysia and Spain (2007).


WHO publishes the WHO Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Chiropractic, recommending educational standards for the recognition and regulation of chiropractic services in all member countries. By 2009 these are printed in Arabic, Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

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