Headaches!! I get them all the time like many of you do too. Some of the most common headaches come from your neck and are called Cervicogenic headaches.
They tend to spread from the back of your head towards the top and the sides of your face or behind your eyes. They’re usually unilateral, meaning they tend to come on one side of the head only and they’re associated with a dysfunction in your neck. Some of the joints and/or the muscles are most likely not working properly and this is usually a consequence of poor posture.
These days with many of you working from home, from the kitchen table to the dining table or even on the floor, which can impact your posture during your working hours. We have seen many people coming with neck pain and headaches.
These headaches can usually be settled quite easily with Physio treatment. Physio treatment can loosen up the tired muscles and the stiff joints that irritate the nerves that come up to your head. We can also improve your posture and implement a proper strengthening and mobility program for your neck to reduce the risk of neck pain and headaches in the future.
What can cause headaches from the neck?
The little joint between the back of the head and the first cervical vertebrae and then also the joint between the first and the second vertebrae are usually the ones that are getting us in trouble. The nerves that exit the spine around these levels can become irritated. This is most often from bad posture and can give you headaches.
What is bad posture?
The most common problem when we work from home and have a bad set up, is that we tend to lean with the head. The head rolls forward and the shoulders roll forward and when you do that, the little joints at the top of the neck get squished at the back as you crane your beck forward trying to look at your screen. This is an irritating position for your neck.
How to fix it?
Firstly (and simply) think of lengthening your spine. If your shoulders go back, your head is going to go back.
Think of your head like a ball and your neck like a little stick. If your head is a ball balancing on the top of the stick this is good. If the head rolls forward, the neck ends up taking a lot of the strain as it fights with gravity to hold it up. You can try closing your eyes and you notice when you do this, and lengthen the spine, the head becomes a lot lighter. Being in a proper position with your neck, is going to align the joints and reduce the likelihood of irritation and headaches.
Also, try to keep an open chest. When you’re working on your computer, keep the keyboard close to you and make sure you’re not leaning or reaching forward too far.
How can we help?
If you’re experiencing Cervicogenic headaches, or neck headaches, come and see us because we can do many things for you.
- A proper assessment will help to determine which type of headache you are suffering from as not all headaches come from the neck. Is it actually a neck headache… or something different like a migraine or tension headache or any other type of headache.
- Treat your beck with manual therapy. Good treatment should help to loosen up still joints and muscles that have become tight over time and reduce irritation on the nerves and reduce your pain.
- An exercise program addressing your postural endurance will also help reduce the strain on your neck throughout your day. We use an app and we can give you mini videos with exercises that you can practice at home.
- Stop it coming back. We can get you onto a more established exercise program with our clinical exercise classes once we have gotten rid of the pain.
We would love to see you and we would like to see you headache free.