Almost 50% of people throughout the world suffer from headaches, and 15-20 % of those headaches come from the neck. These headaches may be felt in the front or top of the head, behind the eye, the base of the neck, or even have a sinus feeling component. People suffering from headaches stemming from the neck don’t always get relief from pain medications but thankfully there are drug-free conservative solutions that offer lasting relief.
- The pain is on one side more than the other, with or without a feeling of pain the back of the head.
- Your neck and head have tender spots when you press on them.
- Your pain is worse with prolonged work at the computer, sitting, driving, or other activities that keep your neck in the same position.
- You have a history of neck problems
- You have poor posture
If you think your headaches may be coming from your neck, a physical therapist who specializes in manual therapy can help determine whether the pain is actually coming from the cervical spine. Looking at your posture and motion is the first step, as well looking at the strength and flexibility of the neck muscles. A skilled physical therapist can also help improve the mobility of the joints in your neck and upper back that may be contributing to your pain.
Headaches may be a sign of a serious problem. If you are suffering from any of these signs you should seek immediate medical attention to rule out more sinister problems:
- Headaches that are getting worse over time
- A severe headache that comes on suddenly
- A headache associated with a head injury or accident
- Headaches with a high fever, difficulty turning your head and neck, or a rash
- A headache associated with dizziness or changes in vision
If you or someone you care about suffers from headaches and is looking for fast acting, lasting pain relief, call us to talk to one of our physical therapists who specialize in neck pain and headaches for a free screening.