Headaches are usually caused by disorders of the neck or are due to physical and emotional tension. One of the ways to treat such kind of headaches is to visit a physiotherapist a get some treatment for the neck pain and learn what you can do to prevent the pain from recurring.
For a lot of people, headaches are pain or tension at the top part of the neck. As the pain becomes more intense, it usually spreads to the back of the head, the temples, forehead or in most of the cases behind the eyes. When you move your neck or bend forward for some time, this tends to make the pain worse. This situation happens because the nerves in the upper part of the neck are connected to the nerves found in your head and face. A problem in the upper neck joints or muscles can cause severe pain to the head.
Any of the following symptoms below could suggest that your headache pain is coming from your neck:
• Are your headaches associated with neck pain. Does the pain begin from the back and going round to the front of your head?
• Do you have headaches with dizziness or light-headedness.
• Does you headache becomes better or worse when you move your neck or when you stay in the same position for a long time.
• Does the headache pain always feels worse on the same side of your head.
• Is the headache pain better when you put pressure to the base of the skull.
• Does the headache persists even after your doctor has checked for other possible causes.
Other causes of headaches besides neck aches may be: migraine headaches, allergic reactions or other factors
Ways for preventing headaches
Here is some useful tips to help you manage and prevent headaches:
Watch your posture
Stand and sit like tall people. Make sure your chest is lifted, your shoulders are relaxed, your chin is tucked in and at head level. Your neck position should feel strong, be straight and feel relaxed.
Watch your working position
You should try and avoid working having your head down or to one side for a long time. You need to make sure that you frequently stretch your arms and neck and not to remain in the same position for a long time.
Non confortable sleeping positions will add more load and strain to your neck. A down pillow or polyurethane moulded pillow is the best choice for most people. Your physiotherapist can you advise on what is the best pillow for you.
You should try and keep your neck muscles flexible and strong by applying the proper neck exercises. A physiotherapist can diagnose for tight or weak muscles and show you which exact exercises to follow in order to restore normal function.
You should try and be relaxed and non-stressed. You must identify when you are stressed and anxious. You may be feeling your shoulders stiffen or your teeth tighten without realizing it.
How physiotherapy can help you prevent headaches
Physiotherapists are specialised in posture and human movement. Physiotherapists can diagnose if your neck is causing or contributing to the headaches.
Some of the techniques physiotherapists can use to prevent or ease your headache pain are:
• Functional and rehabilitative exercises.
• Encouraging normal activity.
• Postural assessment, correction and advice.
• Relaxation therapy.
• Laser, ultrasound, electrotherapy and heat treatment.
A professional can also provide you with self-help ways to prevent headaches like:
Practical ergonomic tips to apply in the office and at home
Ways to adjust your furniture for better body positions
Relaxation techniques and other exercises.
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