Don't let 2022 give you a Headache!
Headaches are a common condition we see in our clinic at LMC Physio and Fitness. There many reasons for headaches, including stress triggers, food sensitivities, migraines, hormones, visual issues and many more. Neck pain and tightness also has a strong link to headaches, and we find that lots of our clients with neck pain also report headaches, even if they haven’t themselves addressed that the two may be connected.
Headaches can be painful and very debilitating on day to day life, often affecting work, sports and social interactions.
Headaches can refer from tight/weak neck muscles. This is the Upper trapezius muscle and you can see that pain from this muscle can refer to the head, jaw and over the eye (as well as the neck). Theernocleidomastoid muscle also has a referral pattern to the head (see image below). This type of headache can be very common in desk workers.
The other cause of neck related headaches is clinically called Cervicogenic Headaches. The top 3 vertebrae in the neck have nerves which refer into the head, and therefore if there is an issue at the top of the neck (tightness, weakness, stiffness, postural issues) then the nerves send a message to the head to say ‘There’s pain here!’ when the pain is actually arising from the neck and not the head! Complicated and clever hey!
Treatments delivered to the neck muscles and joints, such as joint mobilisations and soft tissue massage can offer very good relief for headaches and neck pain. Acupuncture can also be an effective treatment. Improving posture, neck strength and flexibility is also often essential for treating neck pain and headaches, and for addressing the underlying causes which are likely to have caused the pain in the first place.
There are of course many other reasons for headaches. Luckily, only a very small proportion of headaches are more serious, but if you are concerned about headaches it is always worth discussing these with your GP or health care provider.
If you are reading this and it sounds familiar to your neck /headaches then please get in touch with us at LMC and we will be happy to help.