Postural Headaches from the Neck Bad posture increases stress on the joints of the neck, leading to pain and headaches. As the weight of an adult head weighs up to 10 lbs, it is important to keep our heads straight. Most of us sit with our heads tilting forward and this creates muscle weakness and tightness at the back of the skull, thus leading to pain at the top of the head, neck, temples or behind the eyes. The nerves in the neck are joined with the nerves in the head, which is why a postural headache actually originates from the neck.
What are the symptoms of a postural headache?
- Headache with neck pain
- Headache induced by staying in the same position for long periods of time (this happens frequently at desk jobs, for example).
- headaches with pain that is more severe on only one side of the head
- persisting headaches with no known cause (after having been seen by a doctor)
How can a physiotherapist help?
A physiotherapist can determine where the headache is originating from, and if your neck posture is the root of the problem. Physiotherapists might use the following techniques:
- Mobilisation of the joints and muscles in the neck.
- rehabilitative exercises
- assessment of posture, and correction of same with techniques on how to regulate posture to prevent future headaches at home and at work.
Migraine headaches and how physiotherapy can help what is a migraine headache? Migraine headaches are a severe condition which greatly reduce our ability to function in our daily lives. There may not be any concrete cures but physiotherapy can help to lessen the severity of the pain over time by working on muscles and joints. Having a migraine means that there is a disorder in the central nervous system, resulting in the pain that we call migraine headaches. Many people treat migraines with medication but physiotherapy works on muscles and joints in the peripheral system. The effectiveness of physiotherapy depends on how much the joints and muscles play a part in the migraine headache of an individual. this will vary from person to person. Infrequent migraine headache sufferers will find that the benefits of physiotherapy are rather limited. How does physiotherapy help with migraine pain?Migraine sufferers can be taught using physiotherapy how to lessen their pain with various techniques such as relaxation and ice bathing. Stretching exercises can also be taught to reduce the pain in the neck.
If the pain starts in muscles and joints how helpful will physiotherapy be?
People who suffer from headaches with musculoskeletal problems in the neck or jaw will benefit from physiotherapy and can even learn how to prevent headaches from occurring. Referred pain is a way in which muscles and joints in the neck produce pain in the head. The root of the pain is not the head itself, it is rather problems in the muscles and joints in the neck that refer pain into the head. The cause of problems in this area is often poor posture which requires us to overuse a muscle in excess. Another way that pain in the neck can create a migraine is by triggering a migraine event. Spine and muscle tightness occurs, which creates pain thus triggering the onset of a migraine. Sometimes outside factors in the environment or even our diet can trigger a migraine. Treating problems in the neck with physiotherapy can help to eliminate the trigger altogether or at the very least be brought under control.