Headaches sometimes involve or stem from pain in the upper back and or neck. Computer users, long-distance drivers and others whose jobs require them to keep their head in one position for a long time often suffer from these types of headaches.
Head or neck pain accompanied by slurred speech, blurred vision and weakness on one side of the body warrants emergency medical attention. You should also see your doctor if you suffer from frequent, recurring headaches.
Physiotherapists often encounter patients complaining of some type of neck pain associated headache. There are many possible reasons for headaches, but some of the more common diagnoses are whiplash, temperomandibular joint (TMJ) or neck related headache (Cervicogenic) usually due to alterations in upper neck joint mobility and neck muscle function.
Whiplash is characterised by back and neck pain, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears and weakness. Whiplash may result from a motor vehicle accident, sports injury or other trauma that force the neck beyond its normal range of motion.
Physiotherapy Treatment for Neck Pain Headache
Physiotherapy treatment may include range of motion exercises, ultrasound, manual therapy and posture correction. Early mobilisation is preferred over bed rest and muscle relaxants.
Patients who have TMJ often suffer from headaches and neck pains. Their jaw locks, making it difficult to eat, yawn or laugh. Other symptoms include facial pain, swelling, and popping or clicking sounds when moving the jaw. TMJ affects more women than men, and is believed to be caused by clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth. It can also be caused by head trauma.
For Cervicogenic headaches commonly the pain is one sided and a deep aching over the back of the upper neck and sometimes into the face or eye region. Commonly related to postures adopted at work or sleeping, and usually a restriction in neck movement is associated.
An appointment with your Physioworks physiotherapist involves manual therapy to relieve trigger points and muscle spasms and also involves assessing the posture, as incorrect posture may contribute considerably to neck pain headaches. The patient may be given various exercises and an ongoing course of treatment to overcome the discomfort and pain, eventually restoring comfort and normal range of motion.
Speak with one of our professional team of physiotherapists today about how we can help you by contacting us at the following locations: