Dealing with that Pressure Inside of Your Head

Headache, Migraine, Pressure

More than just Intracranial Pressure

Have you recently begun to suffer from throbbing headaches that are usually worse in the morning and subside throughout the day? Do you sometimes experience nausea, vomiting, a pulsating sound, double vision, or other vision problems along with those headaches? You might suffer from Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), which is a type of intracranial pressure.

Though, in order for you to be diagnosed with IIH, you must have a brain scan (MRI) to make sure a tumor, lesion or other obstruction in your brain is not causing that intracranial pressure.

Understanding Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

So, you’re probably asking, ‘If it’s not caused by a tumor or lesion, what causes it?’ That’s a great question! Here are some things that might be the culprit of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension:

  • Certain medication (Isotretinoin, tetracycline, and hormonal contraceptives)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (sleep related breathing disorder)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Bahcet’s disease

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Now, you’re probably asking what it is about those things that causes IIH. Well, there are three major theories of what causes Intracranial Pressure. The first is that there is an increased production of Cerebro Spinal Fluid, the second is that there is either increased blood flow to the brain or an increase of brain tissue, and a third theory suggests the brain’s venous drainage may be congested due to impaired flow.

Caring for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Do you think you might suffer from IIH? Well, you will first want to get diagnosed to make sure your headaches aren’t due to a tumor, lesion, stress, or something else. If your headaches are the result of one of the above listed causes, there are five possible ways to deal with your diagnosis.

  • Lumbar Puncture
  • Medication
  • Venous Sinus Stenting
  • Surgery
  • Upper Cervical Chiropractic

All of the theories of what causes this type of intracranial pressure point to an increase in some kind of fluid in the brain due to an obstruction. That means the best way to find relief from that intracranial pressure is to relieve your body of that obstruction.

Now, there is a good chance that intracranial pressure is caused by a misalignment in your upper neck vertebrae that is not allowing blood and oxygen to flow in and out of your brain properly. An upper cervical chiropractor can examine your upper neck vertebrae for any misalignments and focus on correcting the underlying cause of your Idiopathic Intracranial Pressure and your headaches.

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Dr. Craig Lapenski and Dr. Martha Schenk of Advanced Spinal Care, in Graham, Washington are your Graham NUCCA Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Puyallup, Tacoma, Olympia, and Sumner. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, fibromyalgia, vertigo, neck and back pain, and more. More information can be found on our website at