Lots of people get headaches every now and again. Your cervical vertebrae, located at the top of your spine, support the weight of your head on a delicate column. If you have osteoarthritis that impacts the vertebrae at the top of your spine, your headaches could actually be related to this larger condition, called cervicogenic headaches. With treatment, you can address your arthritis symptoms and headaches.
The experienced care team at Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco, led by S. Justin Badiyan, MD, can diagnose the real cause of your neck pain and help you put together a useful, noninvasive treatment plan. With the right support, including minimally invasive procedures, non-opioid medications, and physical therapy, you may be able to solve the issue without needing to resort to surgical treatment.
Here’s what we think you should know about the connection between headache pain and arthritis in your neck.
Arthritis, the degeneration of a joint, can lead to inflammation and pain. If you experience arthritis damage at the top of your spine, in your first, second, or third vertebrae, headache pain can be a resulting symptom. Sensitive nerves connect your scalp to the top areas of your spine, so as your vertebrae deteriorate, you can feel referred pain in your neck, head, or jaw.
If you think your headaches may be resulting from neck pain you are experiencing, the team at Spine & Joint of Frisco can evaluate you for arthritis in your cervical spine. A history, physical exam, and possibly an X-ray or MRI can oftentimes give us a diagnosis.
Treatment can include non-surgical options, such as facet joint injections, which are targeted X-ray–guided injections into the arthritic joints in the cervical spine of a steroid solution to reduce inflammation. This is not unlike having a steroid injection into the knee joint.
Radiofrequency ablation of the sensitive, pain-causing nerves may also be an excellent, minimally invasive option. Dr. Badiyan may recommend medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) to help with your pain and reduce inflammation in your joints, as well as physical therapy, massage, or targeted application of heat.
In addition, there’s a lot you can do to adjust your lifestyle and habits to reduce your arthritis symptoms and slow deterioration. Being overweight puts added strain on your joints, so taking steps to lose weight, including regular moderate exercise and healthier food choices, can make a big difference. We can guide you to the best combination of exercise and rest to support your health and reduce your arthritis symptoms.
To get started evaluating and treating your arthritis and headache conditions, get in touch with Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco now. You can schedule your initial consultation appointment at our Frisco and Lewisville, Texas offices over the phone, or by using the online booking tool.