From The Desk Of:
Dr Robert C Slater BA: Bachelor of Arts, MSc: Master of Science, DC: Doctor of Chiropractic, CME: Federally Certified Medical Examiner, DACO: National Diplomate of Orthopedic:
Healing Hands Wellness: 631 South Cleveland Ave, St Paul MN 55116, ph: 651-699-3366; Fx: 651-699-5780: email: firstname.lastname@example.org: website: healinghandschiro.com
A large majority of headaches associated with a car accident are a result of traumatic injury to the brain and/or nerves, muscles and joints of the upper neck [C1/C2/C3/C4]. When injured in a whiplash scenario, upper cervical joint’s become off-centered and or misaligned. This all adds up to much physical stress on brain and spinal nerves at the top of your cervical spine.
These coupled stressed and injured nerves centers are what cause the majority of headaches. The headache may be felt at the base of the skull, either or both sides of the skull and or pain to the back of the eyes and the forehead. In addition to the headache, you may feel dizziness, nausea, anxiety and increased irritability when the head is turned to either side.
In addition to receiving safe and effective chiropractic attention to cranial and cervical realignment, within 5-7 days after the injury gentle stretching exercises for the upper cervical spine helps reduce stress and nerve irritation associated with trauma related stiffened ligaments and tight muscles between the base of the skull, neck, upper back and shoulders.
Safe spinal stretches [SSS] can be bring timely and welcome relaxation before you leave the bedroom first thing in the morning, during the day during work or daily activity breaks to help regain normal tone to ligaments, muscles and nerves to the head, neck and shoulders. SSS deliver relief from tightness in injured tissues and decrease the potential for persistent neck tension related to headaches.
Try to perform these stretches regularly, typically three times a day and when you can just let go of everything else for 5 minutes.
Gently bend your head forwards with one hand whilst guiding your chin towards your chest with the other until you start to feel a stretch at the back of the neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat a few times
To further stretch these tight muscles at base of the skull, with the head bent forwards, turn the head about 20-30 degrees to one side.
If you turned to the left, then use the right hand to gently tilt the head forwards. You should have your hand hold the base of your skull whilst doing this stretch, to feel the stretch underneath your fingers.
Hold for 5-10 seconds only, then turn the head 20-30 degrees to the right, then use the left hand to stretch the other side. Repeat 5 times each side
With your left hand behind the small of the back, take your right hand over your head to hold your left ear, then gently pull your head to the right – you should feel a stretch down the left side of your neck towards the shoulder.
Hold for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Repeat 3 times each side
Turn your head to the left to look over your shoulder as far as possible.
Hold for 2-3 seconds, then turn to the right and hold as well. Repeat 10 times each way.
This allows the little joints on the side of the neck to help slide on each other.
To conclude a stretching session, gently roll both your shoulders forwards 5 times, then roll them backwards 5 times. Breathe out as the shoulders go up, flex the chin as the air is exhaled and raise the front of the pelvis as chin is tucked. As the shoulder descend or come back to neutral level position, breathe in deeply, extend the head and relax the pelvis.
This pattern of shoulder exercise will allow the muscles connecting the neck and shoulder to regain normal tone and in turn reduce headaches.
Effective ways to reduce stress to the neck: