If you suffer from persistent or recurring headaches, it may be that your neck is the culprit (and you may not even have pain!) This cause of headache has been commonly overlooked which has often resulted in patients suffering for many years- when effective treatment is readily available.
Equilibrium Sports and Spinal Therapist are well trained and have a wealth of experience in assessing and treating neck related headache. Headaches caused by the structures of the neck are often one-sided, with pain usually arising at the base of the skull and referring to the temple, forehead or eye region. However pain can be present in the eye/head region alone. Pain can be aggravated by neck movement or sustained postures and can be relieved by manual pressure to the base of the skull.
It has been well demonstrated that structures in the neck can refer pain to the head. The nerves that start in the top of the neck (C1-C3) also provide sensation to the face and head. If these nerves are aggravated by stiff joints and muscles in the neck, they can cause pain in the head.
Our therapists will thoroughly assess your neck and endeavour to find the CAUSE of your headaches. By asking specific questions, and performing specific test they can rule out other causes of headaches. They will then feel and assess the structures of your neck to decide if they may be causing your headache. If the neck structures are involved, we often see:
1. Tight and painful structures in your neck (joint and muscle)
2. Pressure on specific structures of your neck will reproduce your head pain -Trigger Points.
3. A forward head posture and stiff mid back- poor posture.
4. Reduced motion in the upper joints of the neck and back.
5. Reduced endurance in the deep muscles of the neck.
6. Poor neck stability.
Our therapist’s may use a combination of the following techniques in helping you:
Gentle manipulation of the neck joints.
Massage &/or dry needling to reduce muscle tension & spasm.
Specific exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the neck and upper back.
Develop a home based exercise program to prevent excessive tension from developing in the joints and soft tissues of the neck.
We give you advice concerning work desk ergonomics, postural correction and sleeping habits – as these may all be contributing to your symptoms.
Relaxation methods to help with stress management.
We aim to treat the source of your pain and address your long term health by focusing on the underlying aggravating factors, working with you to eliminate these where possible.
Remember headaches do not have to be something that you live with on a day to day basis. Come in and see how the staff at Equilibrium Sports and Spinal clinic can help.