Neck Surgery Could Alleviate Chronic Headache Pain

Have you ever heard of a surgery healing a condition having no relation to the origin of the problem? We hear about people getting Botox to help alleviate their head pain or acupuncture to heal practically any ailing concern. In August 2009, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) found that people who received anterior cervical neck operations, disc replacement surgery, or a spinal fusion had significant headache pain relief.
While we don’t necessarily condone anyone to run out and have a risky back surgery for the occasional headache, we do find this finding quite interesting. At ONE Brain and Spine Center, our physicians utilize conventional means of treatment before recommending any surgical procedure. If a patient has severe beck pain and dysfunction that produce debilitating headaches, surgery may or may not be the best option. As the premier brain and spine center in Irvine, Dr. Burak Ozgur continues to research and develop new practices into the treatment policies at our center.
These procedures, cervical neck operation, disc replacement, and spinal fusion surgery, are certainly not a cure for all headaches. However, lead author of the study, Dr. Joseph Riina from Orthopaedics Indianapolis, says “surgery for the neck problem can significantly improve the related headaches… and overall quality of life can be improve with [these] surgical treatment[s].”
The purpose of the study was to determine two things:

  1. Whether anterior cervical surgery could relieve headache symptoms from the cervical disease
  2. When and how bad the headaches of cervical radiculopathy (arm pain) or myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction) are

Though the study was not complete, disregarding migraine headaches and how joints, discs, muscles, and tissues could cause headaches, the authors believe the data they collected is quite impressive. Within the study, the participants ranged in age from 25 to 78 and 51.6 percent were male. The results showed that there was a 21.3 percent reduction in the amount of people reporting headaches two years after the surgery. In addition, 34.9 percent reported no headaches.
Riina says the study answered the most important question, “Can patients have less neck pain and fewer headaches after this kind of surgery? And, the answer is yes.” The researchers evaluated over 1,000 patients, giving them more than enough data.
The entire medical team at ONE Brain and Spine Center is committed to improving treatments by reviewing reliable research studies. For information on the kind of treatments we use for cervical neck problems, contact a ONE Brain and Spine representative today!
ONE Brain & Spine Center is the premier spine and brain center in Irvine, California, offering minimally invasive spine surgeries and minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (949) 383-4190.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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