Headaches and migraines can be severely debilitating and are increasingly common in today’s population. Considering the stressful lives we all lead today, in combination with the increased screen time and sedentary lifestyle this comes as no surprise!
Dysfunctional joints within the neck can cause Cervicogenic Headaches. The pain can be described as a localised to the neck and back of the head. Usually the pain is worsened with movement of the neck and it generally runs on one side of the head, or radiating from the neck itself. Research has shown that manual therapy of the cervical spine can have a favourable outcome by reducing the frequency, intensity and duration of pain experienced.
Usually described as a ‘vice like’ sensation or tight band around the top of the head, Tension Type Headaches are usually on both sides of the head and not aggravated by movement. These headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days at a time. Generally, they are caused by stress, lack of rest/sleep, prior neck injuries, TMJ syndrome and depression. For a tension type headache, our team will focus on relaxing the muscles around the neck through muscle release, massage and dry needling, mobilisations and manipulation.
Other sinister causes of headache could be related to a stroke, meningitis, tumours or hypertension. Your history and physical examination will determine if you require a referral to your GP for further assessment.
Persons who suffer with migraines (with or without aura) can be extremely sensitive to treatment of the cervical spine. Therefore, with such patients, a gentle approach to care is usually adopted with soft tissue therapy, dry needling, gentle mobilisation and cranial massage therapy.