Cervicogenic headache is a headache originating from spinal misalignments/fixations and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. It typically presents as a one sided headache, commonly behind your eyeball. You may have pain or stiffness in the neck. The pain is not throbbing in nature. You may have no neurological disturbances such as visual disturbances or ‘aura’. When the headache is severe, you may have nausea and sometime vomiting occurs. Neck movements can cause discomfort.
Tension headache usually presents as generalized dull and persistent headache.You may have stiffness in the neck and tender shoulders. Your concentration can be affected. It’s common to have jaw dysfunction (TMJ) associated with tension headache. Jaw clenching or grinding commonly occurs with stress and anxiety.
Migraine is a severe throbbing and pulsating headache on one side of the head.It is commonly has a precursor of visual disturbances like squiggly lines or partial blind spots in the visual field (aura). Your migraine can involve nausea and vomiting. When having migraine, you cannot function and are usually bedridden due to the severity. It is common that some family members also suffer from migraines.
Chiropractic treatment for migraine and headache
The treatment for your migraine or headache may consist of the following:
- Manipulation to the cervical (neck) and thoracic spine, either manually or using low force techniques including the activator;
- Soft tissue techniques including massage, trigger point therapy and stretching. They are used to decrease muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Advice of self-management and prevention. They include common techniques such as stretches and exercises, nutritional advice and the use of hot or cold packs.
Chiropractic care has been proven to be very successful in treating headache and migraines.