Headaches are literally a pain in the neck !
There are several types of headaches people experience and many different triggers.
Cervicogenic headaches are a type of headache referred from either bony structures or soft tissue of the neck.
It is thought this referral pattern is caused by nerve structures that supply the head, neck and face (the trigeminocervical nucleus) sending overlapping signals between the nerves that come from the neck and nerves that come from the head. As a result, the brain has trouble distinguishing these messages and this confusion manifests as a “headache”.
Contributing factors for cervicogenic headaches can include poor sustained postures of the neck and upper back, whiplash, cervical instability and arthritis.
A thorough assessment by your physiotherapist to analyse your posture, movement patterns, strength, range of motion, spinal alignment, ergonomics and lifestyle should be performed to help find the root cause of the pain.
Physiotherapy treatment for the upper cervical spine may include manual therapy, mobilisations, and soft tissue manipulation of the affected areas of the neck, shoulder and thoracic spine. Exercises to help strengthen specific muscles that are contributing to the underlying problem are also a key part of improving your long term health and preventing your headache from returning.
If you are suffering from painful headaches or migraines, book an appointment with one of our expert physiotherapists today.