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New Help for Tough Headaches: Take Your Life Back

By Dr. Scott Rosenthal

Does your head feel like it wants to explode?  With our increased use of smart phones, hours staring at the computer, and hauling heavy book bags, headaches are more prevalent than ever. The physical, emotional, chemical and electronic stresses we are all under combine to create an abnormal tension and/or position at the point where your head meets your neck. In other words, your head may be on crooked! And pain pills offer only temporary relief. Standard chiropractic techniques can work wonders (I have had success with thousands of patients over the years). In this article, however, I will focus on the toughest cases that tend to be unresponsive to most forms of treatment.  


Several years ago, a women visiting from out of town came into the office with the worse headache pain I have ever seen. Her neck bowed forward, struggling to carry her head’s weight. Her eyes were heavy, as if she could barely keep them open. She was suffering from pain that only comes with an extremely SEVERE headache. I soon learned that this was a part of her regular life. She had already seen a neurologist and was on powerful drugs that offered no relief. I performed a chiropractic adjustment and she felt 10 percent better. She was very happy with the result, but I was left wishing there was more I could have done.

A year later, she returned with her headache pain raging as usual. After a long investigation and a lot of trying this and that, the “Headache Pattern” was revealed. I found several key issues in her neck and upper back that related to one another. The cause of headaches (in most cases) does not originate in the head, but starts with problems arising below. All areas of involvement need to be addressed in a particular order if there is any chance for the pain to shut off or diminish.

After making a gentle adjustment to her neck with a chiropractic instrument and using the instrument to percuss and relieve specific areas of muscular tension, I could see the weight brought on by her pain fall from her face. With the mask of pain removed, I could see the happy person beneath. She looked younger and relaxed. For the first time, she experienced a MAJOR reduction in the severe headache pain that has occupied her life. Thus, a new treatment pattern for headaches was born!

After caring for countless patients suffering from many types of headaches, correction of the pattern proved to be a potent weapon. As observed in my office, 80 percent of people have at least a 75 percent reduction in pain after the initial visit. Some are completely pain-free within minutes. The results are often permanent. Others require periodic care to stave off the headache’s return. Just a few still have me hopeful that more answers will be discovered.


How do you know if your headaches are caused by the “Headache Pattern?” Below is a list to help connect the dots:

  1. Changing head and neck positions may either increase or decrease the pain.
  2. A tight and/or painful area (or several) exists along the junction of your neck and skull.
  3. A painful nodular muscle spasm may be palpated in your shoulder slope and/or along the inner border of your shoulder blade.
  4. The neck may exhibit stiffness or tenderness when touched.
  5. Have somebody take a picture of you from the side. Your ear may be forward relative to your shoulder. If not, take another picture while seated at your work station, on your couch or in your car. Observe again.
  6. Headaches tend to worsen after carrying a school backpack or when looking down at a computer, smartphone, etc.
  7. Symptoms range from mild to severe.

Millions suffer from headaches each year in the U.S. alone. Drugs may or may not offer relief, but always come with potential side-effects. Plus, they do not correct the physical components of the Headache Pattern. Despite what many people think, headaches should never be part of a normal life. If you are in pain and have signs of the Headache Pattern, relief may finally be at hand.