By Lindsey Jelinek, PT, DPT, CSCS

Have you had a headache lately? Did you know it could be coming from your neck? Neck disorders can actually be the originating cause of headache pain. This is referred to as a cervicogenic headache. The headache is referred pain from the neck. Referred pain means the pain is perceived as occurring in a part of the body that is other than its true source. The causing factor may be either muscle or joint in nature and can result in a variety of referral patterns. Shown below are images of these referral patterns with the “X” representing the disordered tissue and the red representing the location of pain.

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One of the main culprits that can lead to neck related headaches is bad posture. The picture shown below is referred to as upper cross syndrome. This occurs when the head is forward past the shoulders and the back is rounded. This results in the upper back and neck muscles becoming shortened and tight while the middle back and front neck muscles become lengthened and weak. This can lead to excess stress on muscles, joints, nerves and other tissues that are in these areas.

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Who gets upper cross syndrome? It is most common in people who have jobs that require a lot of sitting. Someone with a desk or computer job may be susceptible or a student who sits for classes.
How can I fix it? The good news is there are ways to help improve posture through physical therapy. We can help determine the root cause of the symptoms and find ways to address the issues.

Call and make an appointment today to see one of our skilled physical therapists!

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