Up to 20% of all headaches originate from neck problems; whether you are aware of them or not. This is because the first three nerves of the neck can refer pain into the head.

The most common cause of such neck problems is poor posture, usually associated with sitting at a desk and working at a computer for prolonged periods of time. Other causes can include neck injuries (whiplash) and spinal abnormalities. Research has shown that these problems can cause spinal joint stiffness, nerve irritation, muscle overuse, tightness and spasm, which all refer pain to the head and can manifest as a headache.

Cervicogenic headaches, as they are called, respond very well to physiotherapy. Physiotherapy treatment of the underlying neck problems and its effects can completely alleviate such headaches. This includes postural retraining, taping, joint mobilisation, heat therapy, stretching, massage, and trigger point therapy. Physiotherapists can also provide you with postural advice and strategies that you can use at work and home to maintain neck stability, flexibility and correct posture to prevent future episodes.