How is depression connected to head pain most of the time?

Posted in Head Pain Disorders on Sep 7, 2021

Depression is a very common symptom and connected for people who experience head pain most of the time. The reason is simple: when you’re in pain most of the time, you will feel down and depressed out of it! 

Especially if you haven’t been able to find a solution that works for you. In fact, find me a person who experiences head pain most of the time but does NOT feel anxious or depressed or moody about it, and I will tell you that THAT is the abnormal person.

The reason that this is important for people who experience depression connected to constant head pain that they experience most of the time is so that you know the difference between cause and effect.

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The sense of depression is NOT always the cause. Even the head pain may not be the true underlying cause either. Depression and head pain may only be the symptoms.

But if you want to experience true relief from depression if you experience head pain most of the time, it means that you can’t just treat the symptoms You have to find what the underlying cause is.

Because guess what? If you can figure out and treat the cause of the problem, then the head pain that you experience most of the time but possibly also your sense of depression may also be able to go away on their own.

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When you feel head pain most of the time, Depression is commonly connected

When it comes to finding a solution for head pain, it is important to know what the common causes of head pain are.  And one of the very most common reasons may be due to a mechanical problem with the alignment of the bones in your upper neck, called the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2).

The joints in your upper neck contain a huge number of neuroreceptors that transmit three types of primary sensor signals:

  • Proprioception, which is important for muscle tone and tension 
  • Pressure, which is important for balance and equilibrium
  • Pain.

Perhaps even more importantly, the nerves that convey messages from the inside of the skull and the outside of your head and neck originate from the C1, C2, and C3 levels of your spine. Therefore, if there is ever a mechanical problem with the alignment of these bones that affects the quality of the sensory nerve information, a constant sense of head pain (and subsequent feelings of depression) may be connected.

Perhaps even more interesting, when there is an alignment problem in the neck, experts believe that the nerve signals can actually transmit to the wrong parts of the brain and produce symptoms that are not actually associated directly with head pain including vertigo, dizziness, blurry vision, brain fog, anxiety, and even depression. 

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The potential list of things when we’re talking about brain-spine health is endless! Nevertheless, we repeat that even when people experience head pain most of the time, it should only be expected that they might also feel depression connected with their symptoms.

What to do when you feel head pain most of the time and wondering if it's connected with depression

First, it is important to say that if you have been diagnosed with depression that this is the realm of the medical doctor, and nothing that we do is treating you directly for depression. 

Now that said, if what we are able to do is able to help improve the function of your head and reduce your head pain most of the time, then we should hope that your symptoms of depression if they are connected with your neck might also be able to improve.

Again, this is the difference between treating a cause and an effect. And when it comes to treating the upper neck, a healthcare professional who focuses on this particular area may be the best person to see. It is what is known as an upper cervical-specific doctor.

An upper cervical doctor is a chiropractor who completes advanced study in the relationship between the atlas (C1) the axis (C2) and the brainstem, which is commonly connected with head pain and depression among many other conditions. Unlike general chiropractic, there is no spinal manipulation, twisting, or cracking the neck.

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The procedures first involve a detailed physical and neurological assessment to identify if you have a problem with the alignment of your upper neck which includes a series of customised 3D x-rays. It is just like seeing a dentist first to assess the health of your teeth and gums in order to determine exactly what treatment you need.

From there, an upper cervical doctor will recommend a customised care plan in order to help you achieve your goals so that you might be able to experience relief from the headaches that you are feeling most of the time, and perhaps even if you feel like your sense if depression may be connected, even be able to improve on that front as well.

Upper Cervical Chiropractor Brisbane

Dr. Jeffrey Hannah is the principal and director of Atlas Health, the premier upper cervical healthcare centre in Brisbane, Dr. Hannah is an advanced certified member and instructor for the Blair chiropractic technique. He has also completed additional studies in other upper cervical methods including Atlas Orthogonal (AO) and NUCCA. He is a published author, international speaker, and recognised leader in the field of upper cervical chiropractic healthcare.

Our practice, Atlas Health Australia, is dedicated to helping people with challenging health conditions to find long-term solutions so that they can enjoy the quality of life that they desire most. To find out if upper cervical chiropractic care may be right for you, please call us at 07 3188 9329 or click the Contact Us link on this page. “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”


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