Headaches are such a common problem and for a few people can have a serious impact on their life.
They can be caused by a range of different factors, but some, like cervical headaches, are often under-diagnosed.
Many symptoms of cervical headaches are similar to other forms of headache, such as tension headaches, migraines, hormonal headaches and cluster headaches.
There can be clear triggers for cervical headaches, such as hormones, dietary and environmental triggers.
However, it is common that these triggers are only active when there is an increased sensitivity in the structures of the upper cervical spine.
Sometimes there may be a history of acute trauma, such as whip-lash injury or repetitive trauma associated with work or a sporting activity.
What does a cervical headache feel like?
What will the Physiotherapist do?
What will they find if the neck is involved?
What could treatment look like?
Postural Assessment and Advice – Education on optimal trunk posture and
postural retraining is vital. Without this, cervical headaches
can linger for extended periods.
Mobilisation – Stiff joints in the neck should be mobilised to restore range of
movement. Stiffness in the jaw joints can also be problematic and should be mobilised if needed.
Stretching – Stretching of the neck and shoulder muscles can help alleviate
Strengthening – Cervical muscle retraining is vital. Your Physiotherapist will
show you how to retrain your deep neck muscles to restore the normal
Stress and Tension Management – Identification and reduction of the
sources of stress and tension need to be incorporated as this commonly leads
to tightness in the upper back and neck muscles.
Soft Tissue Work and Massage – Your physiotherapist may use different
massage and soft tissue techniques to help the muscles in your neck and
Dry Needling – Dry Needling is the placement of very thin needles into
specific locations (trigger points) in the body. It is often used to help alleviate
Workplace and Ergonomic Assessment – A poor chair, a desk at the wrong
height or wrong set-up or badly placed computer may result in poor posture
contributing to strain on the neck. Your Physiotherapist can advise on office
and workplace set up.
Neural Stretching – Abnormal tension on your nerves can also contribute to cervical
headaches. Your Physiotherapist will assess this and provide appropriate
stretches as needed.
Ready to get rid of your headaches?
At Wolli Creek Physiotherapy & Pilates, you’ll be looked after by highly experienced and passionate young physiotherapists with a range of specialist skills and qualifications. We treat and heal all injuries and pain problems, for all kinds of people.