The latest research suggests that most types of headaches may have much more to do with with your neck than was previously thought.
Most headache and migraine patients have significant neck involvement which can be clearly demonstrated in an assessment. We have physiotherapists specially trained to assess the role the joints and soft tissues or your neck play in your particular headache. Treatment through manual therapy, posture and movement education, and ergonomic changes can provide effective and lasting relief.
There is significant overlap in the presentation of migraines, tension-type headaches, and cervicogenic (neck-related) headaches. While these conditions are often described as separate entities, recent research has shown that they all have many of the same triggers and that the majority show alterations in sensory input and pain processing. Prolonged sensitization in the upper neck can lead to changes in how pain is perceived and processed by the nerves supplying the face and head. In our experience, most patients we see experience significant and lasting relief from their symptoms following a brief course of treatment focused on improving the function of their upper neck.
We strongly advocate that the neck be examined in all patients with headache and migraine.
This is supported in a recent study where 34 patients with migraine and tension-type headache were examined by a physiotherapist with specialized training. In all but one of these patients the examiner was able to reproduce the same migraine or tension-type headache the patients’ usually experienced by stressing the joints and soft tissues of their upper cervical spine. This study provides evidence that there is significant overlap between the different types of headache and that upper cervical spine should be considered in all presentations of headache and migraine.