Why Back Pain & Headaches Go Hand & Hand

Photo of author

(Newswire.net— September 20, 2019) DARIEN, CT —

A recent study was done at the University Of Warwick in Coventry England proving a link between back pain and headaches. The study was published in The Journal of Headache and Pain on July 15, 2019.
They included case-control, cross-sectional and cohort studies that included a headache and back pain-free group, reporting on any association between persistent low back pain and primary headache disorders. Methodological quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The primary outcome was the association between primary headache disorders and persistent low back pain. The secondary outcomes were any associations between severity of LBP and severity of headache, and the relationship between specific headache sub-types classified as per International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) criteria and persistent low back pain.
They identified a positive association between persistent LBP and primary headache disorders. The quality of the review findings is limited by the diversity of populations, study designs and uncertainly about headache and LBP definitions.
While the results may seem surprising they should not. The following explanation of spinal biomechanics should explain why this study makes sense. The cervical spine and the lumbar spine have the same curve orientation.
If you were to look at a cervical x-ray from the side you would want to see a curve of 31-40 degrees. This is the optimal range for the best biomechanical efficiency. In the lower back, the angle is between 20 and 45 degrees. In between the cervical and lumbar curves you have the thoracic curve which is shaped opposite to the cervical and lumbar curves.
When there is longstanding stress in the cervical spine it is not unusual to develop an issue in the lumbar spine. As we all know force is always transferred never lost. If the neck or cervical area is under physical stress due to a loss of proper angles the force won’t sit in the thoracic area it will go to the lumbar.
Now how this relates to headaches are as follows. The decrease in the cervical lordosis puts tension and stress on the spinal cord which is a common cause for headaches. Over the Counter medications can not relieve the stress, which is why the headaches keel returning. Many medical doctors downplay the importance of biomechanical efficiency. They look at an Xray and find no pathology and assume it to be normal. This in spite of the fact that the weight of the head impacts the pressure being put onto the disc and nerves.
Here is my best advice. If you have neck pain and headaches go see a chiropractor. A chiropractor is trained to restore biomechanical efficiency. This will result in less pain and enhanced function. It will also prevent the stress from being transferred to your back. This goes both ways, a longstanding back pain can develop into neck issue when it is treated by over the counter medications. The reason being is that you are only stopping the pain and are not addressing the underlying structural issue causing the pain.

Core Health Darien-Dr.Brian McKay

551 Post Road
DARIEN, CT 06820
United States