Headaches arising from the neck – cervicogenic headaches.

There are different causes of headaches but in our experience lots of people get relief and see improvements in their headaches with osteopathic treatment. This of course depends largely on whether the headaches are coming as a result of imbalances in the structure of the body, especially in the upper neck and upper back. Headaches arising from the neck are known as cervicogenic headaches.

Cervicogenic headaches usually start as an intermittent pain which might become continuous.They are usually one sided and originate from the back of the neck for based of the skull, and can radiate to the forehead and around the eye, ear and temple.

Dysfunction in the neck can cause headaches in a variety of ways. For example, trigger points in the shoulder muscles can cause referred pain to the head. Dysfunction of the upper neck vertebrae can cause irritation of the joints or overstimulation of the occipital or trigeminal nerves which can cause pain.

Osteopathic treatment for cervicogenic headaches will focus on restoring biomechanical balance to the neck and upper back especially, to restore proper mobility and reduce strain in the ligaments and joints, reduce muscle tension and to reduce overstimulation of nerves. Techniques such as cranial osteopathy, joint manipulation, muscle energy techniques and soft tissue release including trigger point therapy can all be used safely and effectively to help ease a cervicogenic headache.

NOTE; if you are experiencing new headaches, especially if worsening, severe or worse on waking, we recommend that you seek medical advice before coming for treatment. If accompanied with vomiting please seek immediate medical care.

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