12 Mar What is neck pain? and we are not talking about the relatives!
Do you suffer from headaches that are associated with neck pain or stiffness? Chances are you have experienced a cervicogenic or neck headache. Cervicogenic headaches account for approximately 20% of all headaches. Physiotherapy can treat the cause of these types of headaches by loosening the joints and muscles in the neck and providing exercises to retrain weak muscles and correct posture.
Symptoms are usually described as a dull ache typically on one side of the head but sometimes both sides. The headache is usually of gradual onset. You may also wake with the headache or find that symptoms worsen throughout the day as a result of certain activities. The headache is also often associated with neck pain or stiffness and may be aggravated by neck or head movements.
There are a number of structures that can contribute to the production of a Cervicogenic headache. The joints in the upper neck (C1-2 and C2-3) become stiff. The muscles at the back of the neck, particularly the sub-occipital and erector spinae muscles are generally tight while the corresponding muscles at the front of the neck become weak. Physiotherapy can assist by improving the mobility of the joints and loosening tight muscles. Exercises can also be provided to prevent the recurrence by retraining weak muscles and correcting posture.
Usual symptoms include
- Steady dull ache usually on one side of head
- Pain starting from the back of your head or neck and moving around to the front of your head
- Pain often associated with neck pain or stiffness
- Pain may be aggravated by neck or head movements
What we can do to help…
To help alleviate the pain associated with neck headaches, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your pain. Physiotherapist Matt Brown demonstrates key stretches that target common neck sites of stiffness and tightness.
Sometimes stretching and medication may not be enough to reduce the pain. In our clinic we stock a range of the best products trialled and tested by our physiotherapists in order to recommend alternative solutions. A common underlying factor in neck pain is sleeping position. See the video below on how this might affect you.
Pain is just too much?
If you have tried the above suggestions and your pain is ongoing or worsening we recommend you come in and see us. Our physiotherapists will work with you to assess, diagnose and treat the site of pain, using a comprehensive treatment plan. Your personalised treatment plan might include things like:
- Correction of joint stiffness
- Soft tissue therapy to release tight muscles
- Exercises to retrain weak neck musculature
- Postural correction.
Our treatment plans are tailored to your condition and will set you on the right track to reaching your goal however big or small.
For your convenience PhysioFit is open Monday-Friday from 8am-6pm, and Saturdays from 8am-12pm.
Contact us on 07 5528 6000 to book in with one of our physiotherapists.