Having a headache can ruin your day! Cervicogenic headaches are all too common in today’s society. They typically start at the base of the skull and can wrap around to the front towards the eye, either coming over the top of the head or over the ear. Some people can even feel them in the back of their eyes…OUCH! Most people take medication and lay down in a dark room to try and get some relief. Which usually helps, but not for everyone. There is no guarantee how long the medication will last or if it even will help. These headaches typically arise from the first 3 joints in your neck, along with the surrounding muscles and nerves. When we sit for long periods of time our postures undoubtedly change, especially if we are staring at a computer screen. This can put an extra amount of stress on those joints and muscles which doesn’t allow them to function the way they were designed. The joints are unable to glide the way they should causing the surrounding muscles to tense up, creating more irritation. The best way to treat a cervicogenic headache is to try and prevent it from happening in the first place! In physical therapy, we find the musculoskeletal and neurological impairments that commonly lead to these headaches and address them. It is much easier, cheaper and faster to improve your quality of life with headache prevention rather than treating the headache after it has already come on. So if you have headaches come on down to PT and start living life without headaches!
Written by: Dr. Justin Bickford, DPT, OCS, CSCS, COMT, Aspire Center for Rehab