Head and Neck

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain is able to function. Brain injuries occur when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.

Causes of brain injuries may include falls, vehicle-related collisions, violence, sports injuries, explosive blasts, or other combat injuries. More common causes are mini-traumas in sports, like football or soccer.

Symptoms of concussions may include headache or feeling pressure in the head, temporary loss of consciousness, difficulty with balance, confusion, slurred speech, nausea, or fatigue.

Symptoms of brain injuries may include sensitivity to light or sound, mood changes, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, loss of coordination, seizures, dilation of one or both pupils, weakness, or numbness in fingers and toes.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: There are two primary parts to the human skull: the facial made up of 15 bones, and the cranial vault, which consists of 8 bones. They are separated by small cracks called sutures. Historically, it has been felt these sutures fuse at a very young age; however, these sutures are still visible on a dry bone skull specimen in older people, indicating the sutures are not fused. There is a large body of evidence in the field of osteopathy focusing on correcting restrictions in the motion within the cranial sutures. The sutures allow the cranial bones to move each time we breathe. This is the foundation of “Cranial Sacral Therapy” used by Osteopaths. When these sutures are jammed due to trauma, the brain and cerebral fluid flow are adversely affected and are the cause of many symptoms associated with concussions. In this situation, cranial release “Nasal Specific” therapy is the most effective corrective treatment, leading to rapid recovery.

Learn more on our Nasal Specific Cranial Work page.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: has a high degree of success in reversing the effects of concussion.

Cervicogenic

A cervicogenic headache is caused by a problem in the neck.

Causes may include: multiple traumas to the neck, inflammation of the facet joints or degenerative disease.

Symptoms may include: steady, non-throbbing pain at the back and base of the skull, a sensation of a tight band around the head, pain radiating up the neck into the skull, or neck stiffness.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: Any injury to the joints (facets) and muscles of the neck, which may cause joints to inflame and muscles to become inhibited or dysfunctional. Once damage has occurred, the body attempts to stabilize the neck by tightening the muscles supporting the head. This constant tension restricts circulation and lymphatic drainage leading to pain and inflammation.

Tension Headache

A tension headache is mild to moderate pain in the head; often a feeling like a tight band around the head is described. This is due to constant tightness of the muscles attached to the back of the head and into the neck and shoulders.

Causes may include: neck trauma, constant emotional or physical stress, problems with teeth/jaw, or low-grade sinus inflammation triggers.

Symptoms may include: dull, aching head pain, sensation of pressure across the forehead and back side of the head, or tenderness in scalp, neck, and shoulder muscles.

Migraine Headache

A migraine headache is throbbing or pulsing sensations in one area of the head. Early symptoms include aura and blurred vision occurring before or during migraine headaches. One may experience nervous system symptoms, flashes of light, sound and light sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, lightheadedness, fainting, speech problems, or vision loss. Attacks, untreated may last from four to 72 hours.

Medically, the causes of migraine headaches are unknown and often involve many triggers.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: Migraine headaches are a more critical condition to define. Concussions, low blood sugar problems, toxic exposure, tooth/jaw problems and hormone imbalances are the most common causes, and can be managed conservatively using AMIT methods. Less common causes are a defect in the heart called Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), in which a small valve in the heart of the developing fetus fails to close off after birth, or a dissected vertebral artery, which is usually set up by severe trauma to the cervical spine. Both of these conditions can be a warning the person could be suffering from the early signs of what is called “Dissected Vertebral Artery” and predisposed to a stroke. This type of headache is multi-factorial and may need medical referral. This is why it is so important to perform an initial examination on all new patients.

Neck Lateral

Neck Conditions

Neck PA

Neck pain is an irritation or damage causing neck, head, and upper shoulder pain. Usually feels dull, achy, and occasionally sharp with a possibility of radiating pain throughout the entire neck, into the upper shoulders and back.

Causes may include: trauma (whiplash), poor sleeping positions, and diseases like osteoarthritis or Rheumatic Fever.

Cervical dystonia, called spasmodic wryneck or torticollis, is a painful condition in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to twist or turn to one side. This condition can also cause the head to uncontrollably tilt forward or backward. It can occur at any age and is more common in women than men. Babies can be born with this condition.

Causes may include: certain reactions to drugs, trauma to the head, neck and upper shoulder injuries, or infections.

Symptoms are characterized by the head and neck being locked in a rotated and flexed position with severe neck pain radiating into the shoulders. For some, the pain can be exhausting and disabling.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: The muscles of one side of the neck have been traumatized causing muscle inhibition and the joints to be inflamed. The body pulls the neck in a certain direction, which decreases the stress on the injured tissues, in an effort to protect them.

Cervical disc herniation is when the center of the disc, called the nucleus, ruptures outside the disc. This may cause sharp or electrical pain into the neck, shoulder, arm and/or hands, along with numbness and muscle weakness. The symptoms may also be less intense such as pain the shoulder, elbow, wrist or hand.

Causes may include: trauma, aging, poor posture, or improper wear of the cervical discs due to muscle imbalances, usually caused by trauma to the neck.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: Discs herniated due to multiple traumas, chronic inflammation or muscular instability causing repetitive stress on the disc. This leads to a break down in the disc. Eventually the nucleus may rupture putting pressure against the nerve root.

A condition in which the neck is suddenly hyperextended or hyperflexed such as the trauma associated with rear-end or head-on auto collisions.

Pain may include: local or allover dull aching, local or allover sharp pain, swelling or weakness. Often the symptoms begin as sharp pain upon impact and evolve into a dull ache. Eventually after a few months, the patients may begin to develop arm, elbow or wrist pain, which does not respond to treatment.

A.M.I.T. ® Explanation: The muscles, discs, and joints in the neck are filled with complex nerve centers that assist in control of the head and neck. When these muscles and joints become injured or irritated, nerve centers cause the muscles of the neck to splint or tighten in an effort to protect from further injury. This situation leads to pain and restricted motion. The key is to normalize the joint and muscle function, which removes the source of the pain. This can occur rapidly using the A.M.I.T. ® methods.