What is Neck Pain, or Cervicalgia, and the Migraine Syndrome?


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"My neck always hurts. Sometimes it kills me so bad, I cannot think and have to go lie down. It all started when I injured my neck years ago. When I get stressed out it is the worst. Well, it doesn't take much to stress me out nowadays. It's always the back of my head and neck. I wish I could cut it out. Then maybe I could think and remember better. The last time I had a massage she said my neck and shoulders were the tightest she had seen in months! Nothing seems to help for any length of time. I'm so frustrated!"

This is a very common presentation of the migraine syndrome. Frequently their problems are compounded by overmedication--either by self-medicating or prescription drugs. Often there is a history of injury to the neck, for example, whiplash. Often they have been to the chiropractor and have been told there neck is so far out of alignment that the curve in the neck is reversed. The curve in the neck is straightened or reversed because of painful spasm. The trigeminal nerve (sensation of the face) and the cervical (neck) nerves are adjacent to each other in the brain stem (the base of the brain). What affects one affects the other. Migraineurs who smoke usually will develop neck problems. It is absolutely essential for the migraineur who smokes to abstain! Smoke is a smell. The sensitivity to the smell is the problem! Also secondhand smoke and perfumes are major problems. The patient can develop extreme sensitivity to stress and after years with frequently develop fibromyalgia.

This person falls into the migraine syndrome profile. Let me explain what I mean by the migraine syndrome. It is the outward expression of the body's sensitivity to light, sound, smell, food, and/or stress. Some people are more sensitive than others; therefore, their reactions to different stimuli are greater. This sensitivity can be manifested in the body as migraines, sinus headaches, neck aches, palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, motion sickness or vertigo, reactive hypoglycemia, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), panic attacks, and/or fibromyalgia. Now that's a mouthful! Understanding what is going on with you is very important in the healing process.

About the author:

J. Wes Tanner, MD, is a family practice and headache specialist who has been treating people for over 30 years. He has extensive experience in treating migraines and fibromyalgia with excellent success. In Doctor, Why Do I Feel This Way?, Dr. Tanner exposes the secrets and myths about fibromyalgia and the migraine syndrome. To find out more, go to http://www.migrainesyndrome.net

What is a Migraine?
It is estimated that up to 26 million Americans suffer from Migraine headaches and it is considered one of the top reasons for missed work and loss of production. Among these, 8 million suffer from debilitating pain every year. These attacks render them incapacitated to the point that they can no longer perform their daily activities.

In fact, about 60 million work days are collectively lost every year, costing the United States some 17 billion dollars because of the lost time and medical expenses. More women than men suffer from migraine.

A debilitating Migraine headache can last from 4 to 72 hours and can be accompanied by intense pain, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, vertigo, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. After affects of a migraine can leave the sufferer drained and without energy accompanied by a low grade headache with oversensitivity to light and sound and can last for another 24 hours.

Most Migraine headaches sufferers cannot identify what triggers the headaches and a long and varied list exists that differs with each individual. The same factors do not necessarily trigger a Migraine on a consistent basis either. Statistically, women are more prone to Migraines than men with claims that the decline in estrogen during menstruation is the trigger and the onset can begin immediately to a few days delay.

Though all migraines are headaches, all headaches are not migraines. There can be many causes like high blood pressure, cervical spondylosis and poor eyesight being a few. So every one with headaches should not think he is suffering from migraine.

The broad criterion of diagnosis is if you have two or more of the following symptoms during a attack it is probable you are suffering from migraine
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