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Neuralgia

Are you Looking for a Solution for your Pain behind the Eyes?

Are you experiencing pain behind your eyes but don’t know what to do?

It isn’t exactly a headache, and it isn’t exactly your sinuses either. So it isn’t something that you can google search and find a “specialist near me,” because it doesn’t really exist!

And that’s part of what makes it so frustrating is not knowing what it is, what’s causing it or what to do about it!

If you’re like most people who experience pain behind the eyes, it is usually something that you just put up with. That is, it doesn’t necessarily stop you from doing anything that you want to do with your family, at work and so forth.

Then again, there are other times when the pain behind your eyes really ramps up and brings a headache, blurry vision, neck pain and maybe even a migraine with it. So you know that there’s a connection, but until now you haven’t really thought it was serious enough that you needed to do something about it.

My guess would be that if you are reading this article that something has changed, and that you finally want to get to the bottom of what’s causing your pain behind your eyes … and most importantly what you can do about. it.

If you are looking for a natural treatment for pain behind the eyes, let me explain how your neck may be the key to finding the resolution that you are looking for.

What no one has ever told you about Pain behind the Eyes

This section of the text might be a little technical, if you’re the type of person who enjoys understanding how your body works, you will really enjoy it! Here we go.

The normal perspective on pain behind the eye is that it is a sinus headache. However, what if I told you that there wasn’t a sinus behind the eyes at all? The major sinuses of the skull are located above the eyes (frontal sinus), around the nose (nasal sinuses) and in the cheeks (maxillary sinus)

True, it could be that the pain behind the eyes is referred pain, which is one of the reasons that putting pressure on your sinuses actually offers a small measure of relief (as long as the pressure is applied). However, let me ask you the question, “Why are your sinuses irritated in the first place?”

It could be seasonal allergies. It could be something in your diet. Or it could be something neurological.

Let me explain. Your sinuses are normally relatively empty cavities lined with glands that produce mucus when enflamed and lymph channels. It is the reason when you are sick that your head congests. In the head, mucus production is influenced predominately by your parasympathetic nervous system from your facial nerve.

… But how many times have you had pain behind your eyes when you didn’t have congestion?

If you have, then the idea of a cold or something wrong with your parasympathetic system doesn’t make sense. So let’s consider the other side of the equation: the lymph channels. Lymph channels drain fluid from areas of infection and repair throughout the body. They also are involved with the production and transport of immune cells including B cells (which produce antibodies), T Cells and other white blood cellss.

Everywhere in your body where you have a vein you have an associated lymph channel with it. Even more important, everywhere in your body where you have a lymph channel, you have a fibre from your sympathetic nervous system that controls it.

Your sympathetic nervous system is the “fight, flight or freeze” system in your body that activates your heart, muscles and brain when necessary. Your sympathetic nervous system also directly controls the function of every artery plus every lymph channel in your body.

Here’s where things start to get really interesting that no one may have ever told you. The regulatory information about your sympathetic nervous system is processed by the same part of your brain that records touch, pressure and most important, pain.

So it is possible that the pain behind the eyes sensation you experience has nothing to do with a true sinus problem, but that you are feeling “pain” associated with dysfunction involving your sympathetic nervous system where they control and coordinate the function of your lymph channels inside your skull.

What is the Role of your Upper Neck in Pain behind the Eyes?

So what is the connection between the pain behind your eyes, your sympathetic nerves and your neck?

Every sympathetic nerve fibre in your neck, face, head and brain comes from a structure called the superior cervical ganglion (SCG), which lies along the front of the C1-C4 vertebral bodies and transverse processes at the top of your neck. Moreover, the nerve impulses that enter the brain must do so by passing through the very same vertebrae: C1-C4. Mechanical Irritation of sympathetic nerves has been demonstrated to lead to a myriad of complex health issues including complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), fibromyalgia, anxiety, and a variety of hypothalamic-axial disorders involving the function of the endocrine, immune and nervous systems.

The significance of this arrangement implies the possibility that mechanical tension that disrupts the normal function of the SCG or the spinal cord may produce symptoms associated with dysfunction of the sympathetic nervous system including sinus pain, which manifests as pain behind the eyes.

However, there may be even more to the story. It has been shown that direct mechanical pressure to the sensory root of the C1 spinal nerve (which is present in 24% of the population) immediately produces what patients report as “sinus pain” located behind the eyes and behind the sinuses. In addition, neuroanatomists have discovered direct muscular connections between the jaw and the bone (sphenoid), which is located directly behind the eyes. They hypothesise that tension of this muscle - the sphenomandibularis - may also produce sinus pain or pain behind the eyes.

The interesting part is that the nerves that control the tone of the sphenomandibularis and other chewing muscles are heavily influences by the normal alignment and motion of the top two vertebrae in the neck.

So what we have here are three plausible mechanisms that link pain behind the eyes not necessarily to the sinuses, but to mechanical problems with the upper cervical spine.

Can Upper Cervical Care Help your Pain behind the Eyes?

The top vertebra in your neck - the atlas (C1) - is the cradle that lets you nod your head. The second vertebra in your neck - the axis (C2) - is a pivot point that allows you to rotate your head to rotate.

If you have ever suffered any injury that has affected the axis of motion for either of these top bones in your neck, it is possible that they may affect the spinal nerves, sympathetic nerves or the muscles that connect the back of the skull to the jaw, and produce pain behind the eyes,

So it is possible that the pain you experience behind the eyes is a symptom of a potentially more significant problem.

Here is where a novel approach to healthcare may be able to help you. It’s called Blair upper cervical care.

Blair upper cervical care is a unique form of chiropractic researched in the USA that focuses on restoring normal alignment for the vertebrae in your upper neck.

Many people see the word “chiropractor” and presume that it is the same as spinal manipulation. It is not. Blair upper cervical care is a specific approach that does not involve any cracking or twisting of the neck.

The uses a series of objective tests including muscle tension assessments, computerised thermography and precision digital x-rays, which allow us to determine the alignment (or misalignment) of the top vertebrae in your neck, and if they may be impacting on your sympathetic nerves or producing other problems. The adjustments we perform are highly-specific corrections for the alignment of your upper neck without any cracking or twisting, using only the amount of pressure that is used to palpate your pulse.

The key to success with this approach is precision with the least amount of intervention possible.

Have you Tried Upper Cervical Care to Help your Pain behind the Eyes?

Pain behind the eyes is a relatively common symptom that many people tolerate as part of “normal headaches.” However, pain behind the eyes may be an indicator that something else is actually going on and, less addressed, may evolve into other issues down the track.

It is important to emphasis that Blair upper cervical care isn’t a direct treatment for pain behind the eyes, but an approach to helping maintain the alignment and mobility of the joints in the upper part of your neck, which assists your body to work the way that it is designed. If you are looking for a natural solution for pain behind the eyes, headaches, dizziness or other issues that you believe may be connected, Blair upper cervical care may be able to help you.

To find out if Blair upper cervical care is right for you, contact our practice in North Lakes at 07 3188 9329 to speak with one of our staff to find out it we may be able to help you. Also, if you are outside of the Brisbane area and looking for help for your TMJ problem, still feel free to contact us. We will help you find the nearest qualified doctor to help you.

References

Chen SS, Zhang JM. Progress in Sympathetically Mediated Pathological Pain. J Anesth Perioper Med. 2015;2(4):216–225. doi:10.24015/JAPM.2015.0029. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611864/

Edmonds J. The cervical spine and headache. Neurology, 1988;38(12):1874-8.

Gaul C, Meßlinger K, Holle-Lee D, Neeb L. [Pathophysiology of Headaches]. [Article in German]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2017 Mar;142(6):402-408. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-111694. Epub 2017 Mar 22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28329901

Hack GD, Dunn G, Toh MY. The anatomist’s new tools. In: 1998 Medical and Health Annual, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1997:16-29.

Kumagai H, Oshima N, Matsuura T, et al. Importance of rostral ventrolateral medulla neurons in determining efferent sympathetic nerve activity and blood pressure. Hypertens Res. 2012 Feb;35(2):132-41. doi: 10.1038/hr.2011.208. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Millstine D, Chen CY, Bauer B. Complementary and integrative medicine in the management of headache. BMJ. 2017 May 16;357:j1805. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j1805. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28512119

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