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Children’s Headaches and Structural Shifts!

Pain is a low priority for the human body for many reasons. Only a small percentage of the nerves can even carry a pain signal (there is no consensus on the exact number but most search indicates that it’s less than 20%)   Pain signals can also be  over-ridden by larger and faster sensory nerve signals.


Imagine turning on the hot water faucet in the hotel room—the water comes out much hotter than you would have expected—and what  happens,  you  jerk  your  hand  away from the stream of water.

What do you feel first—the “wetness” of the water, or the pain from the heat of the water.

You feel the sensation of the WATER first….in fact immediately—think about it—you jerk your hand back and the actual PAIN comes 1-2 seconds later, almost as if by a delayed reaction.

wass wet

What causes your hand to jerk back—is it a conscious education decision that you make?   Hmmm,,this feels kind of hot, I think I need to get my hands out of the way….NOPE…your body (actually a reflex arc in the spine) that does it for you—much faster than you can ever think to—the message is relayed to the brain and the pain can be used as a ‘teaching tool” so that you don’t keep sticking your hand under the hot water over and over.


wass hammer

This is also why if you have ever smashed your finger with a hammer— what do you immediately do to relieve the pain ( besides screaming profanities) you rub the finger, put it in your mouth—WHY, because then the  SENSORY  information  associated  with  the  rubbing,  sucking  will override the much slower pain signals.   This is also why patients will say  “Doc, I hurt more at night ” —especially when lying in bed—well the pain is the same—but during the day that have much more sensory input going on—which blocks the pain signals.

It’s also why people who run on treadmills or just jog in general, will wear headphones and listen to music—the sensory stimulation from the input will override the pain input—at least to some degree.


wass hx child cov

  • The National Headache Foundation estimates that over sixty percent of all children suffer from occasional headaches.
  • Children miss  more  than  one  million  days  of  school  each  year because of headaches.
  • Recurrent pediatric headache is a common disorder that may affect half of the population

Headaches Hurt Children in Many Ways

Children with frequent headaches may suffer more in some respects than children  with  more  physically  devastating  conditions  like  cancer  and arthritis, according to a new study. Researchers found headaches can affect children’s  emotional  development  and  school  performance  more than some other serious health problems. The study, published in the July issue of Pediatrics, suggests that headaches have a significant impact on children’s  overall  quality  of  life.     The  fact  that  the  impact  of  these headaches is at least equal to that of childhood illnesses often considered more severe and debilitating suggests that physicians should place more emphasis on their recognition, diagnosis and effective treatment.” The negative impact of migraine on the children’s quality of life was similar to the  effects  associated  with  cancer  and  arthritis.  The  children  with headaches were adversely affected in all areas of functioning, including school performance, emotional development, and physical health. In particular, children with migraines reported a higher level of impairment in school and emotional functioning than children with other chronic diseases.

wass hx childs

wass asprin“Though Medical Overuse Headache (MOH) is common in children, adolescents, and adults, it is under-recognized  and  under-diagnosed.  It  is  the most common cause of daily or near-daily chronic headaches. It is also the most common cause of chronic daily headaches in adult patients presenting to headache specialty clinics in the United States. Failure to address MOH in children could lead to dependence on narcotics or other addictive drugs in adulthood, as patients with MOH may develop tolerance to over-the-counter analgesics.”– NEUROLOGY CLINIC JOURNAL

Saying you or your child has “normal” headaches is like  saying you have “normal tumors”

Repeated research studies at both Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic have showed that the ONLY common denominator of people with serious health conditions was that they ALL had recurrent, unresolved headaches earlier in their life.

(why do you think that is?  Hint think about Fibromyalgia from last week)


“Over 70% of all headaches arise from problems with the cervical spine and its related structures.” – Canadian Family Physician

Headaches are frequently caused by compression of cervical nerve roots and prolonged tension of the neck muscles.”- Basic Neurology

“Anatomical, physiological, and clinical evidence exists which indicate that disorders in the structure of the cervical spine are a frequent cause of headaches.” – Modern Manual Therapy of the Vertebral Column

“Headaches are more frequently caused by spinal stress than any other condition.” – Journal of Occupational Trauma

Align Chiropractic Centre

Active Living
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Queensland 4558

0477 226 878

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Align Chiropractic Centre is focused on structural correction of the spine. We use state of the art
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