With any condition, home care is an important part of the treatment and recovery process. Minor modifications made at work, whether that’s adjusting the height of a monitor, positioning of the keyboard, using a chair with good back support, or getting up to walk a few minutes each hour will also go a long way. In the case of cervicogenic headaches, stretching out the tight muscles and strengthening the weak/underused muscles is the best way to tackle the issue
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Headaches found to be coming from the cervical spine respond very well with conservative treatment. A multifaceted approach using a combination of manipulation, myofascial release, stretching, and strengthening exercises will provide the best results. Breathing patterns must also be addressed because it has an impact on everything we do in our daily life.
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There are a variety of reasons cervicogenic headaches arise. They can begin shortly after some traumatic event such as a fall or following a whiplash injury like a car accident. However, more commonly these headaches develop over time from repetitive neck movements, prolonged poor posture, decreased cervical muscle strength, or osteoarthritis. The workplace is a major contributor, especially with jobs that require sitting at a desk or computer, frequent heavy lifting, or repetitive head movements.
Continue reading “Tension Headaches – Must Address These 2 Things” »
Almost everyone will deal with a headache at some point, making them a very common health complaint. In fact, almost half of the population is affected by headaches. They can range from a minor nuisance to severe and debilitating that impacts daily life. The 3 most common types of headaches are tension-type, migraines, and cluster headaches. Cervicogenic headaches fall within the tension-type group, which will be the focus of this series.
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Poor posture of the upper back and neck will often result in pain, joint stiffness, and muscle tightness. The cervical spine and the supporting muscles become labored and stressed with a forward head posture. This is a common presentation when the chin protrudes forward rather than remaining in its proper position over the chest. At the spinal level, this can affect the joint movement which may result in wear and tear. An imbalance of the supporting muscles will most often result. The upper trap muscles are among those that become overactive and tight. Continue reading “A Simple Exercise for Neck and Upper Back Pain” »
When someone complains of jaw pain, we obviously look at the jaw itself, but when do we consider problems in the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as a source of pain somewhere else? If pain is present in the neck or upper back, the muscles that control the jaw and the joint itself must be evaluated. We also consider jaw dysfunction with headache sufferers as well. It is well researched that those with jaw pain or increased jaw muscle tone will have increased activity of the muscles that support the head and neck.
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