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. At Balance PHYSIOTHERAPY we are experts 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 is often eased by manual pressure to the base of the skull. You might wake with pain, or it might come on as the as the day progresses.

The Role of Physiotherapy

Our Physios will thoroughly assess your neck and headaches. They will ask specific questions to 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 will find

  1. Tight and painful structures in your neck (joint and muscle)
  2. Pressure on specific structures of your neck will reproduce your head pain.
  3. A forward head posture and stiff mid back.
  4. Reduced motion in the upper joints of the neck.
  5. Reduced endurance in the deep muscles of the neck.

After correctly diagnosing the neck as the cause of headache, treatment can be quite straightforward for an experienced physio. Physios may use a combination of gentle manipulation of the neck joints, massage &/or acupuncture to reduce muscle tension & spasm, & specific exercises for the deep muscles of the neck.