Did you know?
It is believed that up to 20% of headaches originate from the neck. They are called Cervicogenic headaches. At Cannington Physiotherapy we get a lot of patients complaining of headaches and neck pain. Unfortunately many of those patients aren’t aware of the link so we are here to shed some light on the situation.
What are Cervicogenic Headaches?
Cervicogenic Headaches is a broad term used for headaches that originate from the neck. It is believed that up to 20% of headaches originate from the neck. There are a number of spinal problems that can produce these headaches including disc degeneration or undue stress on the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves.
Causes of Cervicogenic Headaches
Cervicogenic Headaches typically occur after activities that place excessive stress on the joints on the neck. This can occur with one traumatic incident such as falling over or a Motor Vehicle Accident, however it can also be caused by non-traumatic events including poor posture at work or simply sleeping awkwardly.
Signs and Symptoms
Patients will typically report either a gradual onset of neck pain and headaches during the provocative activity or pain upon waking the next morning. Frequently patients will report certain movements or head positions will amplify their pain.
The pain is usually described as a dull ache at the base of the neck. This pain can refer behind the eyes, into to the temple or wrapping over the top of the head. Occasionally patients may even experience pain or altered sensations into the shoulder and down the arm. In more severe cases dizziness, nausea, light-headiness, decreased concentration and altered vision can occur.
How can Cannington Physiotherapy help?
Fortunately for most Cervicogenic Headaches sufferers a visit to your physiotherapist can provide relief within 1-2 treatment sessions. Some patients will take longer to recover as a number of factors may be contributing to your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will discuss with your what to expect with treatment.
Through a comprehensive examination a Physiotherapist will often be able to help diagnose and treat your Cervicogenic headache. Some of the factors that the Physiotherapist may assess include:
- Muscle imbalances
- Stiffness in the joints of the back of neck
- Previous injuries or trauma
- Poor ergonomics at work.
Once the cause of your headache has been determined your physiotherapist will discuss your treatment plan. Treatment may include
- Joint mobilization,
- Dry needling
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Modification of activates at the gym or workplace
- Physio Pilates
Here at Cannington Physiotherapy all of our physiotherapist frequently treat Cervicogenic Headache suffers. If you think believe your experiencing these type of headaches and would like to book an appointment please feel free to contact our friendly staff on 9351 8737 alternatively you are able to click the link on the top of this page and follow a few simple instructions.