Headaches are extremely common in our day to day lives. There are many types of headaches, including migraines, tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches, and many sinister reasons. Luckily the most common headaches are often not due to sinister issues, but that is something we always rule out before treating patients! Often a patient presents to us with headaches that are of musculoskeletal origin, which means we can treat them. So, what are some reasons as to why people have headaches, what do we do in the office for them, and what can our patients do for themselves to alleviate the pain?

Temporalis muscle
SCM Travell & Simons


One of the first reasons we often see people with headache-like pain, is due to something called trigger points. Check out the pictures above. See those X’s, those are common areas in muscles around the neck, that can get extremely tight and cause radiating head pain. These are only a few of the many muscles that can be contributing to headache-like pain. Another reason for headaches is due to something called tempo-mandibular joint dysfunction. A large portion of the population has a tendency to clench and grind their teeth, this in return results in an extremely tight jaw muscle and even tooth pain! If you have a mouth guard provided to you by your dentist for night teeth grinding and also have head pain, then TMJ dysfunction is no doubt a contributing factor. Dysfunctional breathing patterns is yet another huge reason many people develop headaches. How, you might ask? Well, take a huge breath in. Did your chest rise more than your stomach expanded? If so, you are most likely not using the main muscle of respiration, being your diaphragm. When we don’t utilize our diaphragm when breathing, we overuse our traps and neck muscles, thus causing neck and head pain.


Whenever the headaches/migraine pain is not due to any of the above issues, it could be hormones, metabolic/diet, or environmentally driven. If so, then we would work with other health care providers to help deal with the main cause of your headache/migraine.


Here in the office we will utilize chiropractic manipulation of the upper neck and TMJ to promote proper neck motion and perform soft tissue/dry needling techniques to alleviate trigger points. We will also show our patients how to properly diaphragmatically breath via dynamic neuromuscular stabilization and teach them how to maintain a neutral posture position. All of these in conjunction are extremely beneficial in combating headache and neck pain.


In order to remain headache/migraine free, our patients will need to be compliant with the exercise programs we develop for them. Working on diaphragmatically breathing and working on not clenching one’s teeth is crucial. Remember, here at ProActive Spine and Joint, we want to give our patients the tools to decrease and alleviate their pain themselves. We are always here for you, but face it we both know you don’t want to be in our office every other day for the rest of your life.

WE CAN HELP: If you feel like you’re having issues like this or something similar, call us today at 260-927-0581 or schedule an appointment online! There is no reason to live in pain. As always, we are here for you at ProActive Spine & Joint. Move well, live well: that’s what we want for our community and for you.