Headaches are a common problem and are not very pleasant

Headaches are a common problem and are not very pleasant. They range from needing to lay in bed with the room being dark to just annoying and taking the edge off your day. In general, they are divided into to two main groups migraines and tension.

Migraine is thought to be the result of constriction of blood vessels whereas tension headaches are due to tight muscles. Migraines are often on one side of the upper neck and head while tension headaches may affect both sides.

There is a third type which is often missed. The cervicogenic headache is a fancy word for headaches coming from the joints in the upper neck. They are often misdiagnosed as either tension or migraine. If you have decreased range of movement in your neck and moving your neck changes your pain, then it is most likely cervicogenic.

Your FYZICAL therapist is the best person to diagnose this and treat appropriately with education manual therapy and exercise.

Quick test. Sit slouched over at the shoulder and the upper back then look to the ceiling. Now tap your teeth together. Keep tapping while you then move into the best sitting position you can being as tall as you can. You will notice that your teeth tapping will change in position and sound.

What does this mean? The way your jaw moves depends a lot on the position of your neck. Quite often TMJ is affected by the neck in particular the upper neck and back posture. Your FYZICAL therapist is the best person to tell if this is an additional factor in your HA problem.

Gavin Hamer/FYZICAL