Ouch! It is 3am and you woke up with another headache. As you reach for your neck you realize you can hardly move your head.
And now it happens every night.
Headaches can be caused by many things including sinus dysfunction, emotional stress, hormonal changes sleep dysfunction, and a reaction to certain types of foods.
A type of headache commonly overlooked or misdiagnosed is the cervical headache, (cervicogenic origin) which originates from soft tissue and bones in your neck. These headaches usually respond very well to treatment by a manual physical therapist who can release the stiff muscles and get your vertebrae moving optimally. Your therapist will assess you closely to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
How do I know if I have headaches coming from my neck?
How do I know if a manual physical therapist can help me?
If you can say yes to 2 or more of the following questions, manual physical therapy can help you:
- Do you feel tightness, tension or pain across the base of your skull, your forehead, temple area or base of your jaw?
- Do you feel pain or tightness behind or around your eyes?
- Are your symptoms made worse by remaining in the same posture for extended periods of time (especially sitting)?
- Do you sometimes feel light headedness or dizziness with your headache?
- Do you feel neck pain on the same side as the headache pain?
Comprehensive physical therapy treatment for cervicogenic headaches include:
- mobilization of your bones
- massage to release trigger points and stiffness in your muscles and other tissues in the neck
- specific exercises to both help to stabilize and stretch out those stiff neck muscles.