There are many different reasons for a migraine and headache to occur, and at times it can be debilitating.
A Cervicogenic Headache arises from dysfunctional joints within the neck. Cervicogenic pain is described as a head pain localising 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, radiating from the neck itself. Research has shown that Chiropractic care of the cervical spine can have a favourable outcome by reducing the frequency, intensity and duration of pain experienced.
Tension Type Headache can be described as a ‘vice like’ sensation or tight band around the top of the head, 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, your chiropractor will base treatment around relaxing the muscles around the neck through muscle release, massage and dry needling.
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.