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Why Do I Have These Headaches?

Headaches

Have you ever woken up with a raging headache and you can’t think of what you may have done in the night to cause this?  Or maybe you often get them at the end of the day, particularly after a busy day at work?  Is it just on one side of your head?  Or is it in your sinuses?

Today we are going to talk about a type of headache called a cervicogenic headache.  Cervicogenic headache means exactly that:

“Cervico-” means neck  “-genic”- means produced by

These headaches actually start in your neck, although most people don’t realize that there is a problem with their neck.  All they can think about is that awful headache!  Many people wonder if their headache could be a migraine.  There are lots of things that can cause a headache, such as neck strain or injury, sinus infection or high blood pressure.  Migraines are an entirely different kind of headache.  So, how do you know which type of headache you have?

Because the pain comes from the neck, people who hold their neck out in front of them or in awkward positions for long periods of time are more likely to suffer from cervicogenic headaches.  Some professions like hairdresser, dentists, computer workers, truck drivers, electricians, or carpenters are more likely to suffer from cervicogenic headaches. It can also happen as the result of whiplash, arthritis or other trauma to the head or neck.

Cervicogenic headache pain usually starts in the neck and then usually spreads to the front of the head.  You often have a stiff neck too.  It can be caused from holding your head in one position for too long or turning your head in an awkward way.  Your pain is usually just on one side of your head, although not always.  Cervicogenic headaches can cause many of the same symptoms as a migraine; nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, blurry vision, arm or shoulder pain, just to name a few.

Because this is basically a neck issue, migraine medications will not work and most other medications have undesirable side effects.  An experienced physical therapist can determine if of your headaches are being caused by an underlying neck condition and studies show that manual therapy is an effective form of management for cervicogenic headaches. Therefore, seeking help from a physical therapist, osteopath or chiropractor is a safe and successful way to treat them.

We, at PT4EB, can determine if you are having cervicogenic headaches and specialize in the manual therapy you need to take care of the underlying neck condition that is causing them.  Book your free Discovery Session today to speak to us in person, ask all your questions and see if this might be what you need to free yourself once and for all from chronic headaches.

Headaches Guide

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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