The Link Between Migraines and Spine Problems

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi

Migraines & Spine

June is Migraine Awareness Month, and the key to successfully managing and treating migraines is by honing in on the true underlying cause. Far too often people treat the symptoms of the migraine or they treat the wrong root cause, and they are unsuccessful at finding relief. With that said, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the root cause of a migraine. That’s because migraines can be caused by a number of different issues, including by problems located in your back.

Previous studies have found an association between back pain and migraine headaches. Researchers have previously stated that individuals with migraines are more likely to also deal with frequent low back pain, and vice versa. In other words, the two conditions often go hand in hand.

Back Pain and Headaches

But why exactly are individuals with back pain more likely to suffer headaches, and why are migraine sufferers at a heightened risk for chronic low back pain? Doctors aren’t sure about all the possible ways the two conditions are related, but they have noticed some associations.

For example, in older patients, degenerative spinal arthritis or inflammation in one or more of the facet joints can leave a person more susceptible to muscle spasms. These spasms can cause problems like muscle tightness at the base of the skull, which can be a trigger for the onset of a migraine.

In younger populations, acute trauma to the spine can lead to the development of migraines. Trauma can result in damaged spinal joint cartilage which can turn into chronic pain. One side effect of chronic pain is, you guessed it, migraines.

There’s also the possibility that trauma has disrupted the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the spinal cord. If a leak occurs and the spinal cord can’t repair itself fast enough, the most common symptom is severe headaches. Cerebrospinal fluid leaks can also occur after a lumbar puncture procedure, which may be performed as a result of back pain or another health condition.

Minneapolis Back Pain Doctors

So if you deal with frequent headaches or migraines, and you haven’t had much luck treating the condition from your primary doctor, consider contacting a spinal specialist like Dr. Sinicropi. He has helped a number of patients treat their migraines by correctly identifying the root cause of their issue and developing a treatment plan suit to their individual situation. He’d be more than happy to do the same for you.

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