Headaches are always a sign that something in the body isn’t right! The causes can vary from the more innocent ones such as bad posture, jaw problems, eye strain to more serious conditions.

With many people spending all day in front of a computer screen and then countless hours with their head bent forward staring at their phone or tablet PC. It is hardly surprising that we see countless people with Headaches that are arising from their neck also known as “Cervicogenic Headaches”.

It is estimated that between 0.5% to 2.5% of the population experience Cervicogenic Headaches while it increases up to 20% of patients in pain management clinics.[1]

The pain experienced that originates from the neck can be moderate to severe and vary from a dull ache to pressure or tension. It can be felt at the back of the skull, in the temples or at the front or on top of the head. It can but is not always associated with neck tension and pain. Headaches can be triggered from the head being in a awkward or sustained position and tender points in the back of skull and neck can often be found.

Cervicogenic Headaches can arise from neck trauma’s, falls or poor posture that cause misalignments in the neck vertebra and results in nerve irritation and strained muscles and ligaments. When the muscles and ligaments become strained, pain is referred to the head.

Chiropractic treatment often provides instant relief for patients who have had headaches for years. Unfortunately, many of these patients will have been taking various medications or injections for years with little long term relief. In 1995 a randomised study was done which comparing Amitryptilline to spinal manipulation for headaches and it showed the spinal manipulation group to have fewer side effects and better longer term benefit.[2]

[1] Haldeman S, Dagenais S. Cervicogenic headaches: a critical review. Spine J. 2001;1(1):31-46.

[2] Boline PD, Kassak K, Bronfort G, Nelson C, Anderson AV, Spinal manipulation vs. amitryptilline for the treatment of chronic tension-type headaches; a randomized clinic trial. Journal Manipulative PhysiolTher 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):148-54




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