How Physiotherapy Can Help Your Cervicogenic Headaches

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How Physiotherapy Can Help Your Cervicogenic Headaches

Here at Compass Physio across our clinics in Enfield, Tullyallen and Castlecomer we see a lot of cervicogenic headaches. There are many reasons for people to experience headaches and we want to let you know how physiotherapy can help you.

What can cause a Headache?

The most common causes of cervical headaches are

  • Joints of the neck
  • Muscles of the neck and shoulders
  • Nerves of the cervical spine

Can Physiotherapy Help:

YES. Physiotherapy can help to

  • Identify the underlying reason that you are getting a headache
  • Treat the cause
  • Assist in prevention the return of these symptoms

How does a cervical headache present?

  • Pain in the neck with associated tension
  • Pain in the forehead/back of the head
  • Tension in these temple area most prominently
  • Headache with dizziness/lightheadedness.

The Role of Physiotherapy:

A detailed assessment is carried out by your chartered physiotherapist at Compass Physio

Treatment can often include

  1. Dry Needling. The placement of very fine needles in the problematic muscle groups. The eliciting of a twitch response can assist in reducing the knots in that particular muscle.
  2. Stretching. Specific neck and upper shoulder muscles group stretches can assist in reducing symptoms.
  3. Soft Tissue Massage: Massage to reduce the tension in the problematic muscle groups
  4. Posture advice. Awareness of how to find scapular neutral or chin retraction can assist in reducing cervical headaches.
  5. Ergonomic Assessment. Reviewing your workspace/environment. A detailed ergonomic assessment along with physiotherapy can assist in reducing the factors that drive your pain.
  6. Reducing upper limb neural tension. An increase in neural tension which would be evident to your physiotherapist on assessment can reduce your headache symptoms.
  7. Reducing stress and tension. This can be a large driving factor behind your headache symptoms.

It is normal after your initial physiotherapy session to experience a short term increase in discomfort however this is commonly followed by an overall reduction in your symptoms.

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To find out how Compass Physio can help, call 0419847545 (this number covers all clinics), click here to book online or download our free information booklet. You can also email any questions to

Paddy Mulligan MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio