Physiotherapy for Migraine & Headache Relief

How Can a Physiotherapist Help My Cervicogenic Headache?

Our trained physiotherapists will assess the possible causes of your headache pain. These causes may include:

  • Poor posture
  • Neck and upper back stiffness
  • Muscle imbalances
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle tightness
  • Previous neck trauma (e.g. whiplash)
  • Inappropriate desk setup
  • An inappropriate pillow or sleeping postures
  • Sedentary lifestyle comprising excessive slouching
  • Bending forwards or shoulders forwards activities
  • Stress
  • Dehydration

Once the reason for your headache pain is pinpointed, your physiotherapist will instigate migraine physiotherapy treatment to relieve the symptoms and treat the origin of the pain. This tension headache treatment usually includes the gentle manual mobilization of the facet joints of your upper neck and back. The photos on this page demonstrate the technique for headache physiotherapy.

Does Physiotherapy Provide Relief for Headaches?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, physiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for headaches and migraines.

How Does Your Neck Condition Cause a Headache?

Headache occurs when pain is referred from your neck structures following damage from prolonged use, incorrect posture, or from traumatic injury. The force placed on the nerves, ligaments, joints, and muscles in your neck causes stress and pain can build up suddenly or gradually over time, leading to cervicogenic headache.

Cervicogenic headache pain may be felt in the head, jaw, forehead, ears or back of the eyes, and is referred typically from the top three-neck vertebra. Usually, patients are between the ages of 20-60 years old, but it can occur at any age. Manual treatment is an effective form of headache physiotherapy.

What Causes a Cervicogenic Headache?

If you work at a computer or have poor posture or slouch for prolonged periods, these activities put excessive stress on the upper joints of the neck. Also, cervicogenic headaches can occur following a car accident (whiplash) or after heavy lifting activities. Mobilization of the neck vertebrae is part of migraine physiotherapy treatment.

Cervicogenic Headache Symptoms

Usually, patients experience neck pain and stiffness in the morning after waking up which develops into a cervicogenic headache. There may be difficulty in turning your neck, and sometimes there may be nausea or dizziness that accompanies these symptoms.

A return to the poor posture, slouching or keyboard work may increase the symptoms again in the day. I can usually tell the origin of my headache if my neck is tender to palpation just below the base of the skull and the muscles are tight. Manual therapy at the base of your skull will help with headache physiotherapy.

If your cervicogenic headache is mild and with recent onset, you should be pain-free within a few days. For more traumatic origin or chronic cases, the treatment will be longer in duration.

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“Thanks to Matt at Healthx I have been able to get back to the track the fastest. IMS treatments have helped heal me incredibly. After all the doctors, physiotherapists and chiropractors, Matt is by far the most helpful.”

Miranda Gregory, Langley Mustangs Track & Field

Physiotherapy Langley

Langley’s leading physiotherapy clinic for advanced physical therapy services and treatments.