A commonly seen headache is a cervicogenic type headache. This means it is stemming from the neck (cervical spine).
Cervicogenic headache is referred pain (pain perceived as occurring in a part of the body other than its true source) perceived in the head from a source in the neck.
The cause is a disorder of the cervical spine and its component bone, disc and/or soft tissue elements. Numerous pain-sensitive structures exist in the upper neck and occipital (back of head) regions. The junction of the skull and cervical vertebrae have regions that are pain generating, including the lining of the cervical spine, the joints, ligaments, cervical nerve roots and vertebral arteries passing through the cervical vertebral bodies.
Similar to neck pain causes, poor posture, lifting, quick movements of the neck, poor sleeping position, whiplash and/or degenerative changes in the cervical spine are common reasons for cervicogenic headaches.
Osteopaths are experts at diagnosing and treating the majority of these cervicogenic headache causes. Treatment for cervicogenic headaches varies depending on what the underlying cause is but often includes massage type techniques and/or articulatory type movement of the neck and upper back and advice on how to prevent the underlying cause from returning.