12 Mar Learn the tips and tricks physios use to get rid of neck headaches!
Do you suffer from re-occurring headaches with neck and upper back pain?
Are you sick of taking painkillers that barely mask the pain?
How do you know if physiotherapy can help your headache?
This article reveals some of the secrets used by our physiotherapists to take control of your headaches.
Neck (Cervicogenic) headaches affect about 25% of the population, with females more likely to suffer than males. There IS help out there and you CAN get long term improvements – don’t miss these tips.
Headaches can be complex and if left untreated, symptoms can worsen over time and can be debilitating – often affecting all aspects of life. Sufferers are often unaware of the activities that could be causing headaches and feel helpless, as medications alone won’t solve the problem.
Patients who undergo a thorough assessment and have a treatment plan in place, can take control of their neck headaches, start living life to the full again and importantly, reduce headache frequency, intensity and duration. Even better they can also put the medications away and having lasting, drug-free relief.
“Re-occurring headaches can be devastating on a persons overall health and well-being, and sadly many people just accept that it is part of life. It is absolutely not, and taking pain killers to mask headaches is not the answer!”
If any of the above relates to you or someone you know, then keep reading for the best tips on how to get on top of neck headaches.
Do I have a neck headache?
The first step to managing headaches is getting an accurate diagnosis. There are many different types of headaches and those stemming from the neck can be greatly helped by physiotherapy. The first step is working out where your headache is originating from. Physiotherapists are expertly placed in diagnosing neck headaches.
What are the symptoms of neck headaches?
Patients who suffer neck headaches typically report a deep or dull aching pain, often commencing in the neck before travelling to the back of the head or temple regions. Symptoms can include neck pain, neck muscle tenderness, and single sided headaches which may be worse with certain activities (eg: computer, reading).
What physiotherapists look for:
- Headache getting worse with stress or anxiety
- Pain in the head reproduced by neck positioning and pressure applied to the upper neck
- Tenderness in the higher parts of your neck muscles
- Restricted or poor control of neck movement.
What can I do to reduce my risk?
Sufferers often report that sustained positions (particularly sitting at a desk), poor posture and stress can be triggers for their headache. Some things to try are:
- Break up the amount of time you sit in one position
- Exercises to improve neck movement
- Reduce stress & get enough sleep (on the right pillow for you!)
- Commence a neck-muscle strengthening program.
How does the neck cause headaches?
Due to the complex link between the nerves in our head and neck, stiffness in the neck can result in referred pain into the head. People who suffer from this type of headache also typically have reduced strength and endurance in the deep stabilizing muscles of the neck.
What does treatment involve?
Following a thorough assessment, treatment is targeted at your identified “problem areas”. This is likely to include hands-on therapy to restore range of motion and improve muscle function, along with postural correction and strengthening exercises for the deep stabilizing muscles of the neck.
If any of this relates to you then don’t hesitate to book an appointment for a specialised assessment with one of our physiotherapists to get rid of your headaches and learn self-management tricks to prevent ongoing problems.
Book online today or call us on 5528 6000