Physio for Headache

Physiotherapy and headaches

Did you know that many headaches originate from the neck?  These headaches are known as Cervicogenic Headaches (CGH), and they occur due to some dysfunction in the upper 3 segments of the spine.  Thankfully, physiotherapy can help with the treatment and management of a CGH.

What causes Cervicogenic Headaches?

A mechanism known as “Convergence” means that pain coming from your neck can be perceived by your brain as a pain in your head.

This occurs because the nerves from the upper part of the neck converge (meet at the same point) with a sensory nerve in the head called the Trigeminal nerve.  If there is dysfunction in the neck, when these two signals converge, the brain mistakes the dysfunctional message as coming from the head and causes the headache.  It is simply referred pain from the neck.

“Convergence” also explains why sometimes people with gallbladder problems can feel the pain into the tip of their right shoulder. The body is pretty amazing!


How can a physiotherapist help?

As physiotherapists, we can help alleviate your symptoms through guided exercise prescription, advice, and manual therapy.

If you think you may be suffering from cervicogenic headaches, please book an appointment with us for an assessment.

*Please note that there are numerous causes for a headache, and numerous different types of headaches.  This article is only related to cervicogenic headaches.  If you have a headache with any of the following symptoms, please seek urgent medical care: Sudden onset, worsening in nature, blurred vision, dizziness, loss of balance, slurred speech, blind spots, fever, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, a headache after a fall or a concussion, stiff neck with a rash.