A West Des Moines headache is not unusual. Some get headaches once in a great while while others get a headache daily. The causes of headache are varied. Most headaches are minor inconveniences that go away with minimal intervention. A rare headache may indicate more of a problem, but a thorough clinical examination like that provided by Executive Chiropractic of Iowa can rule out a serious cause and help address the pain of a bothersome headache.  

Chiropractic offers non-surgical pain relief to headache sufferers in West Des Moines. The practice of Executive Chiropractic of Iowa is equipped with chiropractic Cox Technic, a gentle, safe treatment to effectively address the cervical spine source of headache pain. Its gentle stretching not only feels good, but may be the answer to your headache pain.


When you have a headache, do you notice the tightness and pain in your neck, shoulders, and often most noticeably at the base of your skull where your head meets the neck? This is the nerve irritation and muscle spasm prompted by many causes resulting in radiating pain into the head – the so-called headache. Causes of headache are varied, but many commonly stem from a problem in the neck (cervical spine) like disc degeneration (1), spinal stenosis, disc herniation (2,3), pinched nerves, facet joint irritation (4), even cerebrospinal fluid flow in the spinal cord (5).


Figure 1. The green arrow shows disc degeneration that is linked to causing headaches. Note the narrowing of the disc space and spurring (yellow arrows) on the front of the vertebral body compared to the normal levels above. 

These changes are also called arthritis,  though the term is not technically correct for disc degeneration. However, such disc degeneration does cause arthritis in the spine joints - facet joints - that lie behind the discs.
Figure 2 shows narrowing of the nerve openings in the cervical spine - stenosis - (yellow and green arrows) compared to the normal openings above and below (white arrows). Stenosis is implicated with headaches as well as shoulder and arm pain. The pain that can extend down the arm is called radiculopathy caused by the pressure of the pinched nerve located in the narrowed nerve opening.

Chiropractic may relieve the pressure of the pinched nerve and thus the headache associated with it.
Figure 3 shows an MRI image of a cervical spine disc herniation from the side (See arrow.) which is implicated with headache pain. Figure 4 shows an MRI image of a cervical spine disc herniation from the top (See arrow.) as it moves backward and contacts the spinal cord which is implicated as a cause of headache.



Executive Chiropractic of Iowa'S Use Of The Cox System Of Spinal Manipulation May Relieve West Des Moines Headache Pain
Cox Technic spinal manipulation creates change in the spine demonstrated as follows:
  • The disc space is increased in its height by up to 20%
  • The size of the nerve openings are increased up to 28% in size and area, allowing more space for the nerve root to occupy and release pressure on the nerve.
  • The pressure inside the disc, which pushes a disc herniation outward, is decreased from a positive pressure that pushes the disc outward against the nerve, to a negative pressure that reverses the outward pressure on the disc to a negative pressure inside the disc that acts like a suction to draw the disc herniation back between the vertebrae (spinal bones).
  • The motion of Cox Technic spinal manipulation stimulates nerve endings that send relaxing and pain-relieving impulses to the spinal cord and brain. This sedates pain and creates a healing of the inflamed tissues.
    Executive Chiropractic of Iowa understands headache origin and has experience working with patients like you to relieve the pain from headache.
    Contact Executive Chiropractic of Iowa for treatment plan to relieve headache pain.


    1. Persson: Headache in patients with cervical radiculopathy: a prospective studywith selective nerve root blocks in 275 patients. Eur S Journal 2007;16(7:953-59
    2. Ahn et al: Percutaneous endoscopic cervical discectomy for discogenic cervical headache due to soft disc herniation. Neuroradiology 2005; 47 (12):924-930
    3. Diener et al: Lower cervical disc prolapse may cause cervicogenic headache: prospective study in patients undergoing surgery. Cephalgia 2007; 27 (9):1050-1054
    4. Becker: Cervicogenic Headache: Evidence That the Neck is a Pain Generator. Headache 2010; 50(4):699-705
    5. Parkkola: Cerebrospinal fluid flow in the cervical spinal canal in patients with chronic neck pain. Acta Radiol 2000;41(6):578-583
    "This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."