It is surprisingly common for headaches to be caused by problems within the upper part of your neck and this type of headache is called a cervicogenic headache. Many clients who come to see us have had weeks, months or even years of living with regular headaches and taking significant amounts of medication because the real cause of their problems – their neck has never been assessed properly. Common causes of cervicogenic headaches are sustained sitting at desks, poor posture, stress, prolonged driving and lifting or carrying. Cervicogenic headaches are also very common with whiplash-type injuries after car accidents. These situations often irritate the joints, muscles and nerves in the top section of your neck and these in turn then send pain up around the back of your head and right around to your eyes, forehead and temple. They are usually associated with a tight or painful sensation around your upper neck, however sometimes little or no neck symptoms are felt and the only pain is your headache.
How we can help you
We see many clients with cervicogenic headaches and can usually provide effective long-term freedom from pain.
Headaches are a complex problem and may have several causes so our first goal is to make sure that your headache really is coming from your neck.
Your initial assessment focuses on this, so your physio will take a detailed history and thoroughly examine your neck to make sure we are the best people for you to see. Further investigations such as x-rays or CT scans are not usually necessary.
Our physio’s are highly skilled and experienced with using a wide variety of treatment techniques to help you achieve long-term relief from cervicogenic headaches. A mix of hands-on treatments such as joint mobilisations and massage is used in conjunction with a specific program of easy exercises that is tailored for your particular needs. An important part of your program is to make sure that any lifestyle factors that are contributing to your headaches, such as your posture or desk at work, are also corrected. This aspect, together with simple neck strengthening exercises, is vital for long-term freedom from your pain.
Call us today for help with your headaches.