Headache / Cervical headache

This is a continuous or intermittent pain in the head.

Headaches at work?

The type of headache which can be helped by physiotherapy is that which originates from the neck (cervical spine).

Book an appointment at any of our locations: 

BedminsterWhitchurchYatton or Clevedon

Symptoms

A headache orginating from the neck (cervical headache) can cause pain at the front, side or back of the head. Pain radiates typically from the top three segments of the neck, but also from the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) and muscles in the shoulder region and upper back through trigger points.

Often muscles are tight or in spasm and joints are stiff; either as a result of trauma following a fall, road traffic accident (whiplash) or a bang to the head, or age related change (arthritis).

Associated symptoms can be nausea, visual disturbance, dizziness or light-headedness.

A cervical headache is often present on waking or alternatively can come on during the day with activity.

Cause

Headaches can be caused by several different conditions. 

Studies have shown that a high proportion of patients with cervical headache report either head or neck trauma prior to the headache, or they will have a past history of trauma. 

Headaches are closely related to posture during the day, for example, computer work, and posture at night, for example, pillow height. We can help you understand how your posture is causing your headaches. 

Cervical headaches can also be caused by stress as this will increase muscle tension.

Prevention

If you injure your neck, get it checked out. Stiff joints following trauma can remain which can cause problems at the later date. Ensuring all joints are moving correctly, and that tight muscles are released means you will be less likely to develop a headache.

Ensuring your posture is correct will help reduce the chances of headaches. Headaches when using a computer can often be helped by an ergonomic assessment.

 

Treatment

Physiotherapy can help reduce muscle tension. Treatment is usually spinal manipulation or mobilisations to the neck, myofascial release, postural education, and exercises to help strengthen your neck muscles.