Cervicogenic headaches are a real pain in the neck. Literally. If you have ever suffered from a headache that starts in the neck, moves to the back of the head, and makes its way to the front of your head, you have likely suffered from a cervicogenic headache. Although rare, cervicogenic headaches can and do occur. Fortunately, physical therapy can help you combat the pain and suffering you often experience with this type of headache.
What Is a Cervicogenic Headache?
Cervicogenic headaches are described as rare, yet chronic headaches that often affect people between the ages of 30 and 44 years old. The headache is also referred to as a secondary headache since there is usually something that causes it, such as high blood pressure, a neck injury, or an infection. There are various ways to treat a cervicogenic headache, such as using medication. However, physical therapy is also an option.
Why Physical Therapy?
As a means of treating cervicogenic headaches, physical therapy is often used to manipulate the spine and neck. Spinal manipulation corrects the position of the spine, ensuring it is in the right place. By correcting the alignment of the spine, it can help reduce pain caused by spinal and neck injuries, thus reducing the likelihood of a cervicogenic headache.
Physical therapy will also seek to improve the muscle strength in your neck, thereby allowing you to heal from any neck-related injuries. Your physical therapist can provide you with a list of exercises the help strengthen your neck's flexor muscles, which can reduce pain associated with cervicogenic headaches. Another option your physical therapist might recommend is the use of a soft tissue massage.
If you suffer from cervicogenic headaches brought on by high blood pressure, your physical therapist may also recommend cardiovascular exercises. Make sure you describe your symptoms accurately so your physical therapist can accurately determine the source of your headache and help you address it.
Contact a therapist, like those at Hands-On Physical Therapy, to learn more about the various ways a physical therapist can assist you. A qualified physical therapist can help you reduce the pain associated with more than just cervicogenic headaches. He or she can also treat a wide range of other headaches, such as migraines. Physical therapists are also able to help you reduce pain and tension after you suffer from an injury. If you suffer from a limited range of motion, a physical therapist can help with that, too.