(Headaches that are caused from musculoskeletal dysfunction /strains in the neck)
Almost 50% of the population suffers from headache (1) and 15 to 20% (2) are due to cervicogenic headaches.
Musculoskeletal pain referred into the head can come from ligaments, nerves, tendons, muscles, disc’s and bones of the neck.
Causes of Musculoskeletal pain are varied, but can come from:
Muscle – Damage with wear and tear, overuse, trauma from Car accidents, sprains, strains and falls.
Ligaments – Postural strain, accidents, prolonged immobilisation.
Poor posture/body mechanics can lead to changes in spinal alignment with muscle shorting leading to muscle imbalances in the upper back/neck region.
Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of cervicogenic headaches.
Some headaches can be from more serious causes and people suffering from the following symptoms should seek medical care ASAP.
- Headaches that are constant and getting worse over time
- Sudden onset of severe headache
- Headaches associated with high fever, stiff neck, or rash
- Onset of a headache after a head injury
- Headaches associated with vision problems or profound dizziness
References: 1: The global burden of headache: documentation of headache prevalence and disability worldwide.
Stovner Lj, Hagen K, Jensen R, Katsarava Z, Lipton R, Scher A, Steiner T, Zwart JA
Cephalalgia. 2007 Mar; 27(3):193-210
2: Cervicogenic headaches: a critical review. Haldeman S, Dagenais S. Spine J. 2001 Jan-Feb; 1(1):31-46.