There are many different causes and types of headaches. Some are of unexplained origin, some are weather related, some are migraines, and others are from various neurovascularly-related causes. A significant number of headaches are called “cervicogenic headaches.” These result from problems in the muscles and bones of the neck. If your physician has ruled out other causes, an experienced physiotherapist may be able to identify cervicogenic causes of your headaches and will be able to help.
Typically these headaches start as tension or pain at the top of the neck. The pain will sometimes spread up the back of the head, into the temples, and behind the eyes. Often the pain is aggravated by prolonged positioning, as in sitting at the computer or by neck movement as in bending forward to read or by looking overhead. The pain may also be worse on one side and may be relieved by rubbing your neck. If there is a muscular or joint problem with your upper neck, the nerves that arise here may be irritated and can send pain signals up into your head.
If you are suffering from a “cevicogenic headache” evidence has shown physiotherapy interventions are an effective treatment. Your physiotherapist may mobilize the joints and muscles of the upper neck, do postural correction and recommendations, set up home exercises for proper movement and muscle balance, and/or use ultrasound, electrotherapy or acupuncture to relieve pain. He or she will also provide ergonomic advice on such things as setting up your work station and adjusting home relaxation habits to ensure you correct some of the causes of the headaches.
Yes there is help for chronic “Cervicogenic Headaches”! Contact a physiotherapist for an assessment!