Headaches are a common complaint among adults, and it is not unusual to hear someone saying that they’re having a bad headache.
The usual remedy is taking a painkiller or getting some rest, but there are times when our headache just won’t go away, and this can be crippling and frustrating, especially when it keeps us from performing certain tasks or activities.
Yes, something as simple and common as a headache can keep you from doing even the easiest of your daily routines and it can be very frustrating indeed.
What Is the Root Cause of Our Headache?
While most of us are under the impression that headaches are just caused by stress or eye strain, such as when we spend a long time in front of the computer or television, sometimes our headache could be caused by something else.
Sometimes, our headache can be caused by postural neck strain and injury, and this is called cervicogenic headache.
What are the Symptoms of Cervicogenic Headache?
There are a few symptoms that indicate whether your headache is caused by neck strain or injury.
For one, there is neck pain that radiates to the back of the head or temporal region.
You might also feel mild light-headedness or dizziness. There could be stiffness or tension whenever you move your neck as well, and you may notice that both moving your neck or keeping it in the same position for a long period makes your headache worse.
Those with cervicogenic headache usually complain of having limited range of motion of their neck and the pain worsens from certain movements of the neck or whenever pressure is applied to certain spots.
This type of headache is generally side-locked, meaning that the pain is felt only on one side.
The pain may come from the neck or the back of the head and extend up to the front of the head or beneath the eyes.
Physiotherapy Treatment for Cervicogenic Headache
If you are suffering from cervicogenic headaches, it will be good to see a physiotherapist so you can have your condition accurately assessed and evaluated.
A consultation with a physiotherapist will help confirm if your headache is indeed coming from your neck.
A physio will also be able to create an individualized treatment strategy, exercise program, and self-management techniques for you, so you can experience immediate improvement in terms of the frequency, intensity, and duration of your headaches.
Physiotherapy can help with specific pains such as cervicogenic headache. The treatments that are given by physios to patients with this type of headache include mobilization of the joints, soft tissue massage, dry needling, and exercise routines that are particularly designed for cervicogenic headache.
It is important to note, though, that if your headaches persist, it is best to go and have your condition checked by a medical practitioner.
This is because there might be other factors that are causing your headache, such as cold, flu, allergic reactions, sinusitis, medication, dehydration, and migraines originating from other factors.
Tim Ellis is the Principal Physiotherapist at Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness in Mascot, New South Wales, Australia.
He specialises in treating complex necks and backs and developing highly effective exercise programs for his patients.
Tim is committed to integrative health, healthy eating, exercise, and life long learning which he shares through his blogs.