Ever had a headache that seems constant and not getting better? You might have a cervicogenic headache! These headaches are caused by pain being referred from structures within the neck. They can be debilitating and progressively worsen over time if left untreated. It’s been found that they affect around 4% of the population and are equally as common in men and women. The primary age of incidence for cervicogenic headaches is 30-44 years.
What Structures in The Neck Can Cause Cervicogenic Headaches?
The neck is a complex area consisting of many nerves, joints, and muscles. Cervicogenic headaches are thought to arise from structures innervated by the C1-3 nerves. This includes many muscles and joints of the neck. Pain signals are sent to the trigeminocervical nucleus which is then thought to generate the headaches.
Treatment For Cervicogenic Headache
Early diagnosis and treatment for cervicogenic headache is very important with physiotherapy the recommended first line treatment. At Macquarie Physiotherapy, we dedicate an hour to your initial consultation. This allows us to complete a thorough assessment to ensure your recovery starts on the right foot.
Cervicogenic headaches respond best to skilled administration of manual therapy techniques such as massage and joint mobilisation. All this hands-on treatment is designed to help reduce your pain and get you feeling more comfortable.
To make sure you improve, it’s important to have exercises that strengthen your deep neck flexors. Specific stretches that prevent the muscles tightening back up are also key.
Take Home Message
Cervicogenic headaches are best addressed by skilled physiotherapists who can administer specific manual therapy. If you’re experiencing headaches, come see us today and get on the path to recovery!