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Headache / Migraine

At Lambton Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine, we specialise in treating cervicogenic headaches, which are headaches and migraines that originate from the cervical spine, the medical term for the neck.

We possess the skills to identify if your symptoms have a cervicogenic component by listening to your subjective history and utilising a range of safe and accurate diagnostic tests.

Joint stiffness/irritation, myofascial trigger points, muscle tightness/ spasm, weakness and the adoption of poor postural positions can all contribute to cervicogenic headaches.

5 signs that you may be suffering from cervicogenic headache/migraine:

  1. Your headache is only present on one side of your head. Your symptoms may switch from side to side or even be on both sides, yet typically one side will occur more frequently or more intense.
  2. Started or escalated after a trauma. This may be after an accident (motor vehicle, fall, or dumped in a wave etc) or an intervention (dental extraction, general anaesthetic etc) where unnatural stress was placed on your neck.
  3. Accompanied by neck pain or stiffness. A classic sign that your headache or migraine is coming from your neck is the experience of neck pain and/or stiffness preceding or during your episode.
  4. Medication is not as affective at it used to be. Cervicogenic headaches create a neural feedback sensitivity. Making non-bothersome stimuli, to be perceived as harmful, and therefore pain is produced. Pain medication started to become less effective once this process has manifested for an extended period (often months to years).
  5. Triggered by long periods of sitting or looking up (painting ceilings/walls). Cervicogenic headaches generally have a mechanical component, so the longer your joint remain in a compressed state then the greater the irritation becomes. If your symptoms typically worsen as the day progresses, it is often due to weakness/fatigue of the small muscles in your neck, resulting in a compressive slump of the vertebrae.


Having one or more of these signs indicates that you need to get your neck assessed by a physiotherapist who specialises in treating cervicogenic headaches. Neck treatment is safe and does not need cracking techniques.  We can generally tell if your neck is the real cause of your headaches and migraines after the first visit and you will see a noticeable change in your symptoms by 4 to 5 visits.


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