Neck Pain and Headaches
Neck Pain & Headaches
There are many different types of headaches, and many different causes. The most commonly witnessed types of headache are Tension Headache & Cervicogenic Headache. In both types of headache, symptoms may originate due to dysfunction in the neck and cervical spine (also called cervicogenic headache). Headaches effect a large proportion of the poulation with up to 70% of males, and 80% of females effected by Tension Type Headache alone.
Causes of Tension & Cervicogenic Headache
A disorder of the vertebral joints or the ligaments, muscles and soft tissue that attach to the base of the skull may refer pain into your head – as the nerves that are in your neck are also connected to this region. This is commonly seen with postural issues – and those spending significant time sitting at a computer.
Your neck may be causing your headache if:
- Your neck pain radiates from the back to the front of your head
- Headache is worsened by neck movement or by holding your neck in the one position – eg staring at the computer screen throughout the day with your chin poking forward.
- Pain is most intense around the eyebrow region
- Headache is eased by pressure at the base of your skull
- The headache may not always be relieved by medication
- Your doctor has cleared you of any other factors that may be contributing to your headache
Your physiotherapist at Pinnacle Health Group will aim to restore movement in the vertebral joints, decrease tone in tense muscles and strengthen the neck and shoulder complex, through methods including:
- Mobilisation of stiff joints
- Soft tissue release of tight muscles and active Trigger Points
- Stretching and range-of-motion exercises
- Postural re-education and activation of stabilising muscles
- Clinical Pilates in one-on-one or group sessions
- Acupuncture or Dry Needling
- Advice regarding workstation set-up to minimise risk of postural neck involvement