Symptoms: Headaches caused by the cervical spine (cervicogenic headaches) often mimic classic migraine headaches, with symptoms on only one side of the head, face or eyes, often with upper neck pain as well. These symptoms are described as aching, throbbing, burning and pounding.
Causes: 50-60% of chronic headaches are provoked by movement or postures that place stress on the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves of the upper neck. Factors such as poor posture, fatigue, previous injury, joint degeneration and muscular stress can compound the pressure.
Relief: Effective treatment requires a comprehensive evaluation of neck stress and all other contributing factors. Manual therapy techniques, including joint and deep tissue mobilization and muscular retraining, are proven effective in reducing stress to the upper neck and easing headaches. Education on proper protective techniques and postures for work, athletic and daily activity is also an essential component of treatment.