What is Cervicogenic Headaches?
Cervicogenic headache, also known as a neck headache, refers to pain in the head that is caused by stiffness and pain in the upper neck.
Is my headache from the neck?
There are many types of headaches, such as migraines or tension headaches. Although not always the case, cervicogenic headaches usually have a clear pattern of pain and stiffness in the neck. Commonly it feels as if the headache begins from the top of the neck, behind the head. If you are unsure, a physiotherapist will be able to confirm via a thorough history and examination.
How do physios treat cervicogenic headaches?
Typical treatments include manual therapy and stretching to loosen stiff areas of the neck, as well as strengthening and postural exercises. These headaches normally have firm roots in poor postural habits that can be addressed through ergonomic correction (desk/work setup) and postural retraining.
How can I get started?
A great introductory exercise to loosening your upper neck is to gently retract your chin, sliding it back and then lifting up through the top of the head to lengthen the back of the neck. This reverses the ‘poke neck’ posture that many of us inadvertently adopt from daily activities such as sitting at a computer or driving a car.
Try and hold this position for 10 seconds, and repeat it multiple times throughout the day.
One of our very own Dynamic Motion Physios Matthew recently attended a course about cervicogenic headaches. In this course Matt further extended his knowledge and gained advanced diagnostic skills and manual therapy techniques to assist in the treatment of headaches.
Know that here at DMP we can provide evidence based treatments that can really help reduce headaches that come from your neck.
Be sure to book yourself in with Matthew if you think this applies to you!