​WHAT CAUSES IT?
  • Dysfunction of cervical and thoracic joints

  • Tight muscles (sub occipital muscles, upper trapezius, SCM, splenius capitis and cervicis)

  • Poor posture (especially at the computer, or with prolonged sitting)

  • Physical and emotional stress

  • Inadequate rest

  • Anxiety

  • Fatigue

  • Nerve compression

  • Trigger point referral

  • Weak deep cervical flexors

WHAT IS IT? CERVICAL/TENSION HEADACHES

A headache which is brought on due to stress, and often posturally caused muscular tightness and joint stiffness of the neck and thoracic spine.
 

Signs and symptoms

A headache which:

  • Has a gradual onset

  • Presents as a dull ache

  • Tends to be one sided, but can be both

  • Has associated symptoms such as neck pain or reduced neck range of movement

  • Is common following a trauma such as whiplash

  • If often posturally related (forward head posture, rounded shoulders, upper cervical extension)

  • Typically one sided, but may be both

  • Causes discomfort, but does not prevent daily function like a migraine can.

HOW TO SELF MANAGE

 

  • Use of a heat bag or hot water bottle - warning

  • Stress reduction

  • Neck stretches

  • Postural awareness

     

 

 

PROGNOSIS

General anterior ankle impingement should improve with conservative physiotherapy management. 

If pain persists, a cortisone injection to the area is an option. 

If there is a bone spur, x-ray can confirm it.

Arthroscopic removal is an option. Crutches may be required post-surgery for 1-2 weeks.  Return to sport should be possible within 4-6 weeks.

HOW PHYSIO HELPS?

Your physiotherapist will be able to take an accurate subjective history and assess your neck for contributing factors.

They can provide manual therapy including:

  • Joint mobilisation or manipulation

  • Massage

  • Muscle and neural stretches

  • Acupuncture or dry needling

  • Pilates exercises and deep cervical flexor education

  • Posture awareness and advice

  • Ergonomic advice (e.g. - workstation setup; correct pillow height)

 

 

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