If you suffer from persistent or recurring headaches, it may be that your neck is the culprit. This cause of headache has been commonly overlooked which has often resulted in patients suffering with headaches and migraines for many years. At B Enhanced, we are experts in assessing and treating neck related headache.
Headaches that are 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.
HOW YOUR NECK CAN CAUSE PAIN IN YOUR HEAD.
It has been well demonstrated that structures in the neck can refer pain to the head. The nerves that start in the top of the neck (C1-C3) also provide sensation to the face and head. If these nerves are aggravated by stiff joints and muscles in the neck, they can cause pain in the head. This is called referred pain.
At B Enhanced, your osteopath will thoroughly assess your neck and headaches. We will ask specific questions to rule out other causes of headaches. We 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, your osteopath 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 cause of headache, treatment can be quite straightforward. Your osteopath may use a combination of gentle manipulation of the neck joints, massage and/or acupuncture to reduce muscle tension and spasm, and specific exercises for the deep muscles of the neck.