Are you looking for a way to manage your headaches without medication? Physical therapy is the answer!
Headaches & migraines are one of the common reasons that people see their primary care physician and they account for 20% of outpatient visits to neurologists. People with chronic (or persistent) headaches and migraines report disabling symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Many seek numerous different treatment approaches, only to accept these headaches as a fact of life, and have become dependent on medications to relieve their symptoms. Don’t give up or settle for harmful drugs, physical therapy is effective for eliminating your headaches and migraines, naturally!
Your headache could be caused from your neck or jaw!
The International Headache Society has classified hundreds of different types of headaches into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches include migraine, tension-type and cluster headaches. They are the most common type of headache and stem from a single cause. Secondary headaches are classified according to their causes, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and cervicogenic headaches, which are attributed to mechanical disorders of the neck. Both types of headaches are treated by various clinicians including PHYSICAL THERAPISTS.
Sources of headaches are often a combination of factors, including musculoskeletal, psychological, neurovascular, nutritional, and chemical imbalances in the brain. Some headaches relate to or are indicative of a disease process; some are life-threatening and others benign. Thus, a thorough medical evaluation is necessary with any onset of a new or ongoing headache.
A thorough physical therapy examination attempts to determine the type of headache and to define the neuromusculoskeletal factors contributing to it. Muscle tension, joint dysfunction of the neck and jaw, poor posture and stress are factors that can be addressed and treated by a skilled physical therapist trained in manual therapy.
What is a Cervicogenic Headache?
Cervicogenic headaches are headaches which result from spinal problems in the neck, such as disc degeneration or prolapse, or facet joint arthritis. ‘Cervico-’ means neck, and ‘-genic’ means origin. Cervicogenic headaches are quite common. If you experience headaches that seem to come from your neck, you may be suffering from a cervicogenic headache. A cervicogenic headache is located on one side of the head, like a migraine, and it is usually triggered by certain neck movements. In addition to head pain, a person may also experience same-sided shoulder or arm pain, this is a “referred pain.”
The cervical joints connecting the top two or three levels of the neck to the base of the skull handle almost 50% of the total motion of the neck. Therefore, this area absorbs repetitive stress and strain. Furthermore, the cervical joints bear the main weight of the head (over 10 lbs). Fatigue, poor posture, injuries, disc problems, joint degeneration, muscular stress and even prior neck surgeries can all compound the wear and tear of this critical region of the body.
Cervicogenic headaches typically cause pain at the back of the head. This pain may spread to the top of the skull and sometimes to the forehead or temple. It may also be associated with pain or discomfort behind the eye. There is often, but not always, associated neck pain or discomfort, and sometimes the neck pain and headaches become more or less severe at the same time. Nausea, poor concentration and irritability are frequent symptoms.
We get results for your head and neck pain including:
- Neck Pain & Stiffness
- Headaches & Migraines
- Herniated Discs
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Cervicogenic Headaches
- Dizziness & Unbalance
Want to learn more? Check out our conditions library.