Headaches due to neck problems
There are many different types and causes of headaches. Headaches caused by structures in the neck are termed cervicogenic headaches. Inflamed joints and tight muscles are common causes of ‘cervicogenic’ headaches.
What are the symptoms?
- Headaches due to neck problems are usually on one side – the side of the neck with the problem. Pain can also be felt at the back of the skull in the occipital region, over the temples or above the eye/s.
- Pain can be anything from mild to severe aching with possible associated neck pain.
- Can have a gradual or sudden onset.
- Recurrent or persistent over long periods – especially if neck dysfunction is not resolved.
- Usually has associated neck muscular tension and limited neck movements.
- Aggravated by neck movement/strain, muscle tension, driving, typing etc.
What to do?
- See your Osteopath to have a proper examination and diagnosis of the headache
- If your are suffering cervicogenic headache your Osteopath or Physio will probably, if it is safe to do so, apply gentle techniques to associated structures in and around the neck that may be contributing to the headache or have become tight and spasmed in response to the headache.
- Your Osteopath or Physio will give you instructions on how to manage your headache
- We will help to identify the cause of the headache and prescribe you specific exercises and or stretches to avoid reoccurrence of the problem.
- Your Osteopath or Physio can help educate you on good posture and ergonomics with exercise and in your daily life especially when working on the computer.
- If it is present, your osteopath may suggest methods to control inflammation around joints or muscles, such as ice, natural and pharmaceutical anti- inflammatory medications. Pain killers may also be helpful. (use only as directed)