ANATOMY OF A HEADACHE
A network of blood vessels surrounds the head and carries blood to the brain. Abnormal function of this vascular system, sometimes caused by compression of blood vessels by muscles or tissue in spasm, can lead to headache pain.
The jaw is the most complex joint in the body, able to open and close, move side to side, and slide forward and back. Muscles, ligaments and a small cartilage disk operate the jaw. Muscle spasms or dislocation of this disk can cause headache pain.
Disorders of the neck muscles or bones of the cervical spine (the vertebrae of the neck) may cause pain in the area where the disorder occurs, or transmit the pain to an area of the head where it is experienced as a headache. Shoulder and back muscles can be affected by tension and stress. As these powerful muscles contract, they may constrict blood vessels or activate nerves, causing referred headache pain.