- Do you have a chronic headache?
- Have you become an expert in managing your headache by taking different medications for years?
- Have you ever done a Brain MRI? Do you still not know the cause of your headache?
- Has your ophthalmologist’s opinion on your eye sight been absolutely normal yet you don’t know the cause of your headache?
- Do you have headache along with a history of neck pain?
If your answer is YES for any one of my questions raised above, I am pretty sure that this article is going to be an eye opener you.
Headaches that originate from the neck are generally termed as “Cervicogenic Headaches”.
CERVICO means CERVICAL SPINE / NECK
GENIC means ORIGIN / PRODUCTION
The International Headache Society accepts Cervicogenic Headaches as a distinct form of headache. For the purpose of this article I would like to name it as “CG HEADACHE” In my experience, almost two-thirds of headache sufferers have pre-existing history of neck pain.
Similarities in symptomatic complaints between “CG HEADACHE”, Tension-type headaches and Migraine headaches might lead a medical professional towards misdiagnosis and subsequent wrong treatments.
In common practice If the cause of headache cannot be found and does not subside with common medications, it will be named as Migraine head ache and you will be prescibed to take long term medications.
I had a client, who had been suffering from chronic headache and taking medication for four years, but not gotten any better. Due to the constant pain, she had developed irritability and restlessness. Moreover, she was unable to concentrate on her work. Years of medication did not help her, instead developed stomach ulcers.
What I would like to put across here is - if untreated, “CG HEADACHE” will affect your quality of life including
- Productivity in work
- Emotional balance
- Sleep quality
- Finally, it will also ruin your personality
Causes of Neck headaches are:
Lack of mobility between (C1 & C2 SPINE) top two vertebral joints
Spasm / Tightness in muscles (SUBOCCIPITAL) located right beneath your skull which act as a steering for your skull car.
Trigger points (highly sensitive muscle knots) in Neck muscles like STERNOCLIEDO MASTOID and UPPER TRAPEZIUS
Stiffness/Instability in your Jaw joint (Tempero Mandibular Joint)
One-sided tightness in Jaw muscles ( Muscles works for grinding and chewing food)
The Root cause of your “CG HEADACHE” would be
- Slouch-sitting posture
- Muscle imbalances around the shoulder blades
- Previous history of whiplash injury
- History of cervical spondylosis
A skilful manual therapist can do magic for your CG headache by using mulligan mobilization to correct a positional fault in your first two vertebrae.
A skillfull manual therapist can do a soft tissue release for your spasmatic deep and tiny upper neck muscles to relieve your “CG headache”
Of course, pain relief is one of the goals when I treat neck headaches. Once the pain is reduced and mobility is restored, I would always recommend my patients to go through a progressive neck and upper body strength training program to prevent further occurrence.
Consult a Manual therapist to differentially diagnose your headache.
A manualtherapist will
- assess your posture
- assess spinal mobility
- assess temporamandibular joint mobility and
- screen your muscles for spasm and strength
Do you want freedom from taking long term medications?
Consult a therapist…
There is hope!
There is a chance!