Chronic headaches can be a terrible drain on your life. They can linger for days or even weeks, wipe you out, put you in bed, and destroy your enjoyment of life. They can damage your work performance, your happiness, even your relationships.
They are also very difficult to treat. Tylenol, Imitrex, and steroid injections offer only temporary relief. Most importantly, none of these treatments deal with the causes of the problem, they are only trying to dull the symptoms.
The true underlying causes of chronic headaches are not usually fully known by the medical profession. This is why most medical treatments have only partial and temporary results. There are in fact four major, but poorly understood, causes of all kinds of chronic headaches. If the headache is not caused by a serious medical problem such as a tumor, hematoma, or meningitis, then it is very possible to treat the true underlying cause of the headache – and end it forever.
The suboccipital muscles are the muscles at the back of the head, where the head joins the neck. Thomas Griner, muscle therapist, chiropractor, and former NASA engineer, discovered that these muscles often cause headaches that can spread through the head. His theory is that the suboccipital muscles irritate the suboccipital nerve, which passes through these muscles and ends up in the center of the head at the sphenoid sinus. The suboccipital nerve irritates this sinus, which irritates the other connecting sinuses, and the headache spreads through the head.
I treat the suboccipital muscles and the muscles of the neck, upper back and shoulders with a pair of powerful instruments called Rapid Release Therapy. These instruments produce a wave of vibration that penetrates deeply into muscle tissue, breaking up muscle spasms, scar tissue, and adhesions. I use two of these instruments at the same time because the two individual waves of vibration will join together to create one much more powerful wave which produces immediate and lasting healing on muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Note that the Rapid Release instruments do not produce a temporary effect like, for example, an E-stim machine, which many chiropractors commonly use. This is the electrical machine with the small electrodes which produce a sensation like ants crawling on your skin. I do not use this instrument because it is well known that it only relaxes muscles for a very short time and produces no cumulative effect. Rapid Release Therapy is the most powerful soft tissue treatment that I have ever found, and I have researched soft tissue treatments for many years. I am trained in four or five manual muscle techniques that I do with my hands, but I no longer use any of them. Rapid Release Therapy is much more immediately effective than these manual techniques and produces long-lasting results that only get better with time. It will systematically and progressively relax the suboccipital muscles and eliminate this hidden cause of headaches.
If the Rapid Release Therapy were the only treatment that I had in my office, I could help a lot of people – but only to a point. Patients would get better for a while, but headaches would keep coming back if I were not asking why the suboccipital muscles were so tight.
The reason these muscles are so tight is that as we go through all of the various physical traumas of life, our spine becomes distorted – pushed forward and twisted. Look at a six-year-old child and you will see that they stand perfectly straight, without anyone telling them to do so. Look at someone 86 years old, and you will see that they cannot stand straight, no matter what you tell them. All of the shocks and blows of life, the car accidents, the skiing accidents, falling off the skateboard, even sitting in a bad computer chair for 20 years – all of these things have pushed the spine forward. As the spine and head get pushed forward, every inch that the head gets pushed forward on the spine doubles the weight of the head to the body. If your head is pushed forward 2 inches, it will add 20 pounds of weight, pulling and straining all the muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and neck – and especially the suboccipital muscles.
Why can’t your body correct a forward spine by itself? And why can’t exercise or physical therapy correct it? The problem is that once vertebrae or bones in the spine have been pushed forward, there are no muscles behind them that can possibly pull them back again. If a vertebra gets turned or twisted to one side, there are muscles on the other side that could pull it back to center. Also, if a vertebra gets tilted up or down, muscles can pull it back to its original position. But vertebrae that have been pushed forward only get pushed progressively more and more forward as we get older and we experience more trauma. Then what can we do to correct the spine?
The only system of physical medicine that has ever been developed to fix this problem is called Advanced Biostructural Correction, or ABC. ABC finds the spinal bones that have been pushed forward and gently pushes them back again. It will immediately correct your spine and posture so that you will stand up much straighter than before, breathing more fully and deeply with much less pain in your body. ABC will fix your body a lot more quickly and effectively than traditional chiropractic. Over time, ABC can heal the traumas of your entire lifetime and restore your spine to the upright posture that it used to have and should have. Headaches will disappear, along with a lot of pain in other parts of your body. You will move more easily and freely and be able to do the things in life that you want to do.
Most people, including most medical doctors, do not know or understand that the bones or plates in the skull can be moved out of place by a trauma to the head. But everyone has seen someone who has had some sort of head trauma – a car accident, a bike crash, a football concussion, even a difficult birth – and now their head looks distorted or has dents in it. This proves that the bones or parts of the cranium can be moved out of place by a traumatic force. It only makes sense then, that it should be possible to correct these misaligned cranial bones by pushing them back to their proper place, using the correct amount of therapeutic force in the correct direction.
This is exactly what Turner Cranial Technique does. This gentle, comfortable, extraordinary method of correcting and healing brain function has been developed by Dr. Roger Turner DC of Toronto Canada over the last 29 years. His website is www.turnerwellness.com. I am trained personally by Dr. Turner and have been using his treatment method in my clinic for over six years. He has had remarkable success treating virtually every kind of brain problem on adults, children, and special needs kids: autism, ADHD, Asberger’s, cerebral palsy, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, tantrums, night terrors, speech problems, sleeping difficulties, dizziness, memory loss, concentration problems – and yes, tension headaches, migraine headaches, and cluster headaches.
With headaches, often a particular bone called the sphenoid has become misaligned. The sphenoid is behind your eyes, running from one side of your head (at the temple) to the other. The optic nerve passes through the sphenoid bone, and the edges of the bone surrounding the optic nerve are sharp, almost like a knife. So when the sphenoid has been pushed out of alignment by a car accident a tumble off a horse, a skiing fall, or a bike crash, the sharp edges of the bone can dig into the optic nerve, and it can cause pain behind the eye or in the temple that we call a migraine headache. It is very common that head trauma can push the sphenoid out of alignment. That’s because the sphenoid is a central bone that is connected to every other cranial bone, and a head trauma to any part of your head will move the sphenoid to some degree. Correcting it is easy, and during a treatment I also correct all the other cranial bones. So not only will a Turner Cranial Treatment help to heal your headaches, but it will also improve and optimize your entire brain function, and can even remove brain impairments that you never even knew you had. (I can tell you many stories about this.) You will feel, brighter, calmer, happier, more clear, and “more yourself” than you have in a long time.
We want life to be simple. We want the person in the white coat to tell us we have an uncomplicated diagnosis – a simple answer that a pretty new pill can fix.
Unfortunately lives, and bodies, often don’t work like that. When things go wrong with our bodies, it is usually not one thing that is wrong, but three, or four, or 17 things at the same time. So when we have chronic headaches, it’s often all of the above three causes that are present at the same time.
This sounds like it could be a problem. But what I have discovered to my great satisfaction and delight is that Rapid Release Therapy, ABC, and the Turner Cranial Technique all work together in a synergistic way. I get faster, deeper, and more long-lasting results using the three techniques together than if they were done separately. This means that I can very effectively treat even complex cases of chronic headache. I can treat all three causes of headache and their interactions all at once, as long as the headache is not caused by a major medical problems such as a tumor. In fact, most headaches are caused by the three or four hidden causes that I have discussed and I have over 95% success rate treating headaches in my clinic. I am really looking forward to meeting and helping you!