Headaches can be the effects from extrinsic or intrinsic factors around the head and neck region or other imbalances of the body. It is important to determine the cause of your headache to ensure the best course of action. Cervicogenic headaches can be treated effectively by physiotherapy and acupuncture, by using manipulative techniques.

Headaches can be caused by either internal or external factors.

Internal body factors such as hormone changes, vascular imbalances, visual impairments and neural changes can all impact on the sensitivity of the head and neck region.

It is important that you get your doctor to assess you if you are experiencing new onset of headaches particularly if severe in nature. These may or may not be associated with visual disturbances, nausea, dizziness, ringing in the ears and general malaise.

A physiotherapist will be able to assess if your headaches are cervicogenic in nature (that originate from the cervical spine). They will be able to determine this with a thorough subjective and objective examination where lots of questions will be asked and specific head and neck movements assessed.

Cervicogenic headaches often start with pain in the top part of the neck and are often unilateral. Some refer into the side of the face particularly above the eye. They can be associated with muscular and fascial tightness, joint stiffness or fatigue. Common causes include posture, jaw disorders and stress.

Once other factors have been excluded, cervicogenic headaches respond well to a course of physiotherapy treatment. Acupuncture can also be very effective in reducing cervicogenic headaches by mainly assisting in muscular flexibility and the flow of Qi. Please see the physiotherapy acupuncture website for further details on www.aacp.org.uk.