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頭を触る男
頭を触る男

頸椎のダメージと頭痛の関係性

頭を触る男

頭痛は日本人の多くの方が患っている一種の「国民病」とも言える症状ですが、この頭痛の原因として骨のダメージが有ることがありえます。具体的には「頚椎」という骨です。この頚椎がダメージを受けていると頭痛が発症することがありえます。

どうして骨がダメージを受けると頭痛が生じてしまうのでしょうか。また、頚椎のダメージが原因で頭痛が生じてしまった場合にはそれぞれどのような治療を受けることが重要となるのでしょうか。本稿では頚椎と頭痛の関係についてまとめていきます。

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頚椎と頭痛は関係がある?

頭痛の男

頚椎(けいつい)という言葉は、どこかで聞いたことがあるという方が比較的多いのではないかと思われます。特に、骨接ぎ(接骨院さん)などに通われている方は頚椎という言葉にはよく触れるのではないでしょうか。

頚椎とは、おおむね、背骨のことを指すと考えて差支えがありません。
頚椎は首からおしりまでつながった骨です。頚椎にはよく聞く椎間板という骨と骨とのクッションがあったり、脊髄という神経が通ったりしています。

頚椎は私たちの体の背中を通っている大切な骨であり、重要な役割を果たしています。この頚椎が実は頭痛に関係することがあるということはご存知でしょうか。実は頚椎が頭痛に関係することがありえます。

頚椎ヘルニアと頭痛

頚椎が頭痛に関係する場合の一例として挙げられるのが、頚椎ヘルニアの場合です。
頚椎ヘルニアとは、頚椎の椎間板が何らかの原因(例えば急激に体をひねってしまったなど)により飛び出してしまって神経を圧迫している状態をいいます。圧迫された神経はとても痛みます。

この頚椎ヘルニアになってしまうと頭痛が引き起こされることがあります。つまり、頚椎は体重の5パーセント程度の重さがある骨で頭部を支えています。そして、この頚椎にヘルニアが生じるとはじめは肩や首などが痛みますが次第に頭にも影響が生じてくることになります。

頸椎ヘルニアによる頭痛の程度は人それぞれであり、刺すような痛みから締め付けられるような痛み、場合によっては頭皮に触れただけで頭痛を感じてしまうという場合もあります。このように頚椎ヘルニアになってしまうと頭痛が生じえます。

頚椎ヘルニアによる頭痛がある場合にはその原因となる頚椎ヘルニアの治療が重要となります。頚椎ヘルニアの治療は基本的に安静にするという保存療法で数ヶ月で8割程度は治癒するものですので、頚椎ヘルニアの回復とともに頭痛も治まってくることになります。

頚椎性頭痛

次に頚椎と頭痛が関係するケースとして頚椎性頭痛があります。頚椎性頭痛とは、頚椎の関節を痛めることによって結果として頭痛が生じる症状をいいます。

先程も書きましたが頚椎は頭部を支える大切な骨です。この頚椎が寝返りや交通事故などでダメージを受けてしまうと結果として頭部を十分に支えることができず、その結果として頭痛が生じることになります。

具体的には後頭部に頭痛が生じ、首を動かす事によって吐き気やめまいなどが生じることがあります。

この頚椎性頭痛の場合も原因となる頚椎の治療で症状を改善することができますので、頚椎を治療することがとても重要となります。頚椎製図痛の治療はカイロプラクティックや接骨院などで受けることがおすすめできます。

頚椎(くび)の痛みと頭痛を必ずしも関連付けないこと

このように頚椎の痛みは頭痛につながることがあります。しかし、頚椎の痛みが必ずしも頭痛の原因となるとは断言することはできません。

極端な例ですが、頭痛で吐き気がするのは頚椎性頭痛ではなく、脳腫瘍など重大な病気の表れである可能性も絶対にないと否定することはできません。

頭痛は頚椎だけが原因で生じるとは言えません。様々な原因が頭痛の要因となります。
頚椎の痛みも頭痛のひとつの原因となることは間違いはありませんが、継続する頭痛についてはまずは内科などで疾患がないかを確認してもらうことが大切と言えます。

その上で頚椎ヘルニアや頚椎性頭痛などの可能性があれば整形外科やカイロプラクティックなどのそれぞれの専門家による治療を受けることが望ましいということができるでしょう。

頚椎とは関係しない頭痛としては偏頭痛や緊張型頭痛などが一般的です。脳腫瘍やくも膜下出血による頭痛などは可能性としては一般的には考慮する必要性は少ないと言えます。

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まとめ:頚椎と頭痛の関係のまとめ

以上、本文で述べました頚椎と頭痛の関係についてまとめますと以下のようになります。

  • 頚椎は体重の5パーセントを占めるいわゆる「背骨」の部分の骨で頭部を支えています。そのため、頚椎に問題が生じると頭痛が生じる可能性があります。
  • 頚椎からくる頭痛として挙げることができるのが例えば、頚椎ヘルニアによる頭痛です。他にも頚椎性頭痛なども頚椎と関係する頭痛ということができます
  • 頚椎と頭痛は関連性がありますがすべての頭痛が頚椎のいたみ・損傷等と関連しているわけではありません。頭痛の要因は多種多様ですので、頚椎以外の要因による頭痛の可能性を考えることも重要と言えます

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