Headaches

by | Aug 10, 2016 | Conditions | 0 comments

It has been reported in the news recently that the number of people getting headaches is on the rise, with a great percentage of these being triggered by painkillers. In fact, studies have shown that people who take painkillers on a regular basis (more than 15 times in a month) get more headaches as a consequence. This can sometimes be linked to ‘withdrawal’ if someone has used pain killers for a number of months. It is termed ‘rebound analgesia’ and is a big reason that people end up relying on pain killers to mask the symptoms.

 

Types of Headache 

There are many types of headache that are divided into different categories including red flag, tension, cluster, migraine and medical overuse. Sometimes a headache is hard to define and may not appear to fit into any of these categories. This could be because the underlying cause is due to problems with the biomechanics and posture of the neck, shoulders and upper back, which involves the muscles, ligaments, discs and vertebral joints. This is known as a cervicogenic headache and can affect anyone at any age. It may occur in isolation or be complicating a headache from a different category e.g. migraine.

THE KEY HERE IS PROPER EXAMINATION AND DIAGNOSIS. IF YOU SUFFER WITH HEADACHES AND HAVE NOT HAD A FULL NECK AND SHOULDER EXAMINATION BY AN OSTEOPATH, YOU MAY BE SUFFERING UNNECESSARILY.

What is a Cervicogenic Headache?

The theory suggests that if you experience tightness, stiffness and aching of the neck muscles and joints for a specific reason such as poor posture or early degeneration then you can get referred pain into your head. Think of it as a chain reaction, as pain can be ‘sent’ through the muscles and tissues to the head via the nervous system.

They are called ‘cervicogenic headaches’, as the cause comes from the neck or what is medically known as the ‘cervical spine’. Trauma localised to the neck, such as whiplash, can be a contributing factor. However, it is also important to remember that compressed nerves in the neck can also play a part.

A typical cervicogenic headache can span from the base of the skull to the forehead and can be aggravated from movement or holding a position for a fixed period of time; for example, desk based work.

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