Headaches are very common and unfortunately too many Australians believe that they are a normal part of life and simply resort to using painkillers. Frequent headaches should be viewed as alarm bells that signify something is wrong and constantly reaching for the medication draw is the equivalent to ignoring the check engine light of your car.
Headaches come in many forms, however the most common type of headache seen in office workers and those who use computers are actually referred from the neck (the cervical spine).
These are known as Cervicogenic Headaches.
Signs & Symptoms
- headaches that radiate from the back of the head towards the front
- normally worse on one side of the head, or can sometimes be felt “behind the eye”
- may be provoked with certain neck movements
- may be relieved when pressure or massage is applied to the neck or base of the skull
- can occur at night, especially if you sleep on your stomach
What causes them?
Cervicogenic headaches are predominantly caused by spending long hours in front of a computer with poor posture, especially when combined with stress and/or anxiety.
These factors cause tension to develop in the upper neck joints and the surrounding muscles, which can then “refer” pain into the head as the nerves that originate in the neck also supply the face and head.
A common example of this referral mechanism is how people describe left arm pain when experiencing a heart attack.
How can we help?
- Soft Tissue Massage of tight neck and shoulder muscles to improve flexibility, reduce tension, and stop pain referring into the head. This can be combined with specific stretches to help prevent muscle tension returning.
- Acupuncture / Dry Needling to help relieve pain and deactivate referring trigger points. This can also be used in combination with Electrotherapy if indicated.
- Joint Mobilisations / Manipulation (Adjustments) of the neck and upper back to help improve posture and restore normal spinal movement.
- Postural Muscle Retraining for the neck and back muscles to prevent recurring headaches.
- Kinesio-Taping to improve posture and assist the retraining of postural muscles.
- Postural Re-Education will involve teaching you the optimal sitting / standing positions specific to your occupation to reduce strain on your neck and shoulders.
- We can even come to your workplace for an Ergonomic Assessment to address any specific issues with your workstation.
Are you feeling tired and frustrated of constantly having headaches? Are you sick of having to rely on painkillers to get you through a normal work day?
See an expert at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy now and take back control of your life!!!