Almost everyone has suffered from a headache at some stage of their lives. Fortunately, most of these headaches are resolved with tried and tested methods like popping Panadol, hydration and rest. However, for some people, headaches can be ongoing or severe and impact their day-to-day activities. The causes are varied: eyestrain, vascular disturbance (e.g. migraines), hydration levels, chemical or structural abnormalities…
Physiotherapy is an effective treatment in some of these cases, particularly where there is a mechanical influence – meaning the structures within the body that are able to move, such as spinal joints and muscles. A headache originating from the neck (cervicogenic headache) is probably the most common form of headache treated in our clinic. In order to determine if your headache is caused by a mechanical imbalance, consider when your headache starts or where the pain is coming from. It may be caused by bending or holding your neck in a particular position, for example: reading, or turning your head while driving. A cervicogenic headache may also begin in the back or base of the neck and progress forward. Sometimes the pain may begin near one ear and develop up one side of the head, which can be an indicator of jaw dysfunction.
Physiotherapy treatment is likely to include manual movement of the neck joints and the manual release of associated muscles. The therapist may also recommend dry-needling, ultrasound therapy or electrotherapy.
If you are suffering from headaches and think it may be related to your neck or jaw, please contact our clinic for an assessment.