Headaches

Chronic headaches could be caused by an entrapped nerve

Entrapped or pinched nerves can often result in underlying issues such as back and abdominal pain but also chronic headaches. These headaches aren’t your typical run of the mill ibuprofen and walk it off type of headaches, they’re migraines that cease to exist and cause you crippling pain.

There’s strong evidence to suggest that these two are strongly linked, although nothing is set out in stone.

Unlike the lumbar and lower spine nerves, the cervical spine has a grand total of 8 nerves that can cause you physical pain if they get entrapped. An example of this would be the C7 root exits the C6/7 disc space and then it branches out.

Symptoms

The symptoms of an entrapped nerve can, of course, be a chronic headache which limits the way that you can interact with the world. An example of this would be the inability to go into direct sun light due to the sensitivity of your eyes from the headache, making you more susceptible to high pain from the sun.

Although a skin condition is not a problem as many do come about from problems with sunlight, headaches are common which means that they’re the most consistent symptom of an entrapped nerve.

If you’re a sufferer of chronic headaches whilst experiencing horrendous back pain, it may be worth seeking medical advice as to whether or not you have a trapped nerve in your spine or lower back which could be causing the problem.

Diagnosis

A physical exam is the usual port of call when trying to figure out whether or not an entrapped nerve is the cause of your chronic headaches. A common way of diagnosis through a physical exam is with a primary care physician which will use a Spurling manoeuvre, which is done by the physician putting pressure on your head through force in the hand and then see whether or not the pain is caused from that.

Chronic headaches could be caused by an entrapped nerve

What this indicates is that a nerve on your spine, hence the pressure on your head, is causing the physical pain. If you’re worried about this test causing you additional pain, they won’t be using something similar to a sledgehammer to push down your head; it’s a case of light pressure being applied to test whether or not a nerve in direct relation to your spine is the cause of your pain.

This test will also bring about any potential numbness which makes a nerve problem obvious by the fact that the spine and nerves will crease up underneath the pressure, regardless of how minimal it is.

Treatment

Pain management is often the best way to help you cope with the pain that an entrapped nerve can bring about. Although contradictory to the previous statement made, certain over-the-counter pain killers such as ibuprofen can be used in small doses to help with minor pains, but it’s always best to consult your doctor and physician before taking any medication to help out with your pain.

Please make sure that if the hospital or doctor provides medicine to help with the pain that you prioritize that medicine over any home remedies or other form of pain relief. If you intend to take multiple sources of medicine to help with your trapped nerve, please take a list of the names (medical, anything with a trademark [™] sign over the name is not a medical name) to the doctor to ensure that you’re able to take that medicine alongside the prescribed meds as well.

This will prevent any side effects that can come about from crossing the medication and stop you from falling ill, causing abdominal pain on top of your headaches and potential back pain caused by the entrapped nerve. If you’re having the slightest doubt as to whether you can take 2 medicines together, ask your doctor.

What should I do?

If you’re concerned with any pain that you may be having, such as a headache that never leaves or back pain that’s more than just a minor prick type of pain, it’s best to consult your physician or doctor to get a diagnosis on your condition. If the doctor then confirms that you’re suffering from a trapped nerve, you’ll have to follow the guidelines that the medical providers give you in regardless to your condition.

Please ensure that you refer back to the previous points mentioned in regards to crossing medication just to ensure that you’re not limiting your progress towards a healthy life again, this is of vital important.

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