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Head Conditions-Tension Headaches

Tension Headache Treatment from Advanced Pain Relief in Kitchener, Port Elgin & Owen Sound

If you have a headache in your temples, base/top of your skull and/or behind your eyes accompanied by neck or upper back pain you may be experiencing a tension headache. When dysfunctional or irritated (facet) joints are the cause the pain the condition is often termed cervicogenic (meaning coming from the neck) or facet (the specific joint) irritation/syndrome. The pain from this type of headache can be severe and sometimes accompanied by migraine symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to light and sound. The duration of pain varies from episode to episode and can last anywhere from a few hours to a days/weeks.

Causes of Tension Headaches
A variety of events can cause neck muscle stiffness or tightness can lead to tension headaches or facet syndromes, including trauma to the head and neck from injuries such as whiplash, poor posture (which increases stress on joint and muscles) and occupational stresses, such as extended cell phone or computer use and other activities that require the neck to be in awkward positions for prolonged periods. At Advanced Pain Relief, we understand how to diagnose and treat the cause of these headaches using a personalized approach.
Head Conditions – Migraines

Migraine Headaches

Migraines headaches are typically more intense than tension headaches. The word migraine, derived from the Greek hemikrania, which means "half of the head," refers to a throbbing pain in one side of the head that's often accompanied by a stiff and tender neck, extreme sensitivity to light and noise, difficulty concentrating, nausea and increased pain during routine physical activity. These symptoms typically last about four hours but can last as long as three days.

Types of Migraine Headaches
Migraines generally fall into two categories: classic and common and there is a less common third type known as Migranosa Neuralgia or Cluster headache. Most people who get migraines experience the common type, but about 20% experience classic migraines that involve common migraine symptoms accompanied by an aura, which is a visual disturbance that manifests as blurry vision, blind spots, zigzag lines or tunnel vision (a loss of peripheral vision). If you get migraines but don't recognize these symptoms, you probably get common migraines. The first experience of a common migraine typically occurs early in life. Twenty-five percent of people who get migraines have their first one before age 10, more than 55% have it before age 20 and more than 90% have it before age 40. Gender and genetics seem to play a role in who experiences the condition. Women are three times more likely to have migraines, and about 90% of people who get them have a family history of the condition, according to the American Council for Headache Education. Some people have a predisposition to migraines and certain triggers can cause them. These include emotional stress, physical exertion, changes in the weather, environmental pollutants, certain medications, foods such as dairy products, red wine and chocolate and changes in sleep patterns. Studies are currently focusing on the role of blood flow in the brain and head, hormonal changes in the central nervous system and electrical imbalances in cells. At Advanced Pain Relief we offer a comprehensive approach that can effectively reduce the severity and frequency of Migraines and in some cases relieve them altogether.
Head Conditions – Concussions and Post Concussion Syndrome

In the recent publication; The Brains Way of Healing, Dr. Norman Doidge MD, a Toronto-based Physician, describes how low intensity laser therapy (Bioflex) helps the brain recover from concussions. We are pleased to be working with Meditech, the founder of the Bioflex laser, to offer this treatment.
Head Conditions – TMJ Syndrome

Pain Relief for Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction; A Comprehensive Approach

When the jawbone or Mandible (the “M”) connect to the bones on the side of your head or Temporal Bones (the “T”) you form the TM Joint or the TMJ. When that joint becomes dysfunctional, you may suffer locking/clicking or limited movement of your jaw, stiff jaw muscles, and pain that radiates through your jaw, neck, face and can cause headaches. While it is well known that TMJ can be caused by abnormal muscle/joint mechanics of the jaw and neck, studies prove that in some cases TMJ can be caused by mechanical dysfunction of your lower back or pelvis and that TMJ syndrome responds better to a whole body approach.
If you suffer TMJ syndrome or other musculoskeletal disorders and would like to schedule an appointment with a Dr. Moona in Kitchener, Port Elgin or Owen Sound, please call Advanced Pain Relief clinic today.
Neck (Cervical) Conditions

Neck Pain Treatment with Advanced Pain Relief in Owen Sound, Port Elgin and Kitchener
Most of us have experienced neck pain from time to time from sleeping improperly or too much physical exertion. Other common causes include muscle strain due to postural muscle weakness, poor posture related to phone or computer use, whiplash from sports or motor vehicle accidents, or degenerative conditions like arthritis or disc degeneration/herniation.
Depending on the cause of your neck pain, you may also experience symptoms in the upper back, shoulders, arms and hands. Our approach starts by understanding the cause of neck pain and then using one or several proven treatments to address the underlying cause. This could include Laser Therapy, Spinal Decompression, Shockwave Therapy and Chiropractic adjustment or Physical Therapy exercises and Therapeutic massage to restore normal movement and alleviate symptoms by addressing the underlying problem.

Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Whiplash often occurs during a rear-end auto accident, but the injury can also result from a sports accident, physical abuse or other trauma. Common signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness and headaches. Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes physical therapy and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.
Cervical Disc Degeneration and Herniation

Normally, there are six gel-like cervical discs (one between each of the cervical spines’ vertebrae) that absorb shock and prevent vertebral bones from rubbing against each other while the neck moves. Each disc is comprised of a tough but flexible outer layer of woven cartilage strands, called the annulus fibrosus. Sealed inside the annulus fibrosus is a soft interior filled with a mucoprotein gel called the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus gives the disc its shock absorption property.
In children, the discs are about 85% water. The discs begin to naturally lose hydration during the aging process. Some estimates have the disc’s water content typically falling to 70% by age 70, but in some people the disc can lose hydration much more quickly. As the disc loses hydration, it offers less cushioning and becomes more prone to cracks and tears. The disc is not able to easily repair itself because it does not have a direct blood supply (instead getting nutrients through diffusion caused by healthy movement with adjacent structures). As such, a tear in the disc either will not heal or will develop weaker scar tissue that has potential to break again. We also know that nerves run between the vertebrae and when disc degenerates we can sometimes see a pinching of these nerves leading to symptoms in the arms or hands. When the inner part of the disc, the Nucleus Pulposis squishes out the side of the disc, this is referred to as a disc herniation. Depending on the size and location of the disc herniation it may put pressure on a nearby nerve and cause pain or numbness/tingling in the shoulder, arm and hand(s). At Advanced Pain Relief we use treatments to boost the bodies ability to heal and produce healthier, better hydrated tissues through laser and shockwave therapy and create unloading/restorative pressures on the discs and introduce better movement Spinal Decompression Therapy and Chiropractic adjustments.
Cervical Facet Syndrome

The facet joints are small, cartilage-lined points of contact where each individual vertebra meets the one above and below it. They both enable your spine to flex during movement and also limit its range of motion. However, if the cartilage wears thin, pain can occur. Things like age-related wear and tear, weak postural muscles, a previous injury or trauma to the spine, and cell phone/computer use are risk factors for facet joint damage.
If you have had no recent back strain or injury but you are starting to experience episodes of upper back pain, or pain that radiates outward from your spine, here are some clues that your facet joints may be the source of it:
The pain occurs occasionally and unpredictably, perhaps scattered over several months.
When the pain occurs, pressing on the skin in that area may cause soreness or tenderness; the muscles there tighten in response to pressure or movement (guarding reflex).
It may not hurt to bend or lean forward, but doing it backward produces a definite “ouch!”
In its early stages of cartilage irritation/deterioration, facet joint pain often responds to posture improvements, laser therapy, anti-inflammatory products, and applications of heat or cold. When such measures no longer work, Spinal Decompression Therapy has been proven to be helpful. An X-ray can be helpful in determining a diagnosis of Facet Irritation/Syndrome. At Advanced Pain Relief we see this condition on a daily basis. If you think you might have Facet problems or any other Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal concerns and would like some help, contact Advanced Pain Relief in Owen Sound, Port Elgin or Kitchener today. There may also be shooting or burning pain that radiates across the shoulders and upper back, but not down the arms or into the fingers.
Neck Pain & Stiffness

Neck Pain and stiffness has many potential causes ranging from injury to inflammation to degenerative arthritis. Some of the causes are described above. The team at Advanced Pain Relief is skilled at reaching a diagnosis and providing effective non-invasive therapy. If you have neck pain or stiffness or any other Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal concerns and would like some help, contact Advanced Pain Relief in Owen Sound, Port Elgin or Kitchener today.