Neck Stiffness, Discomfort or Pain

April 16, 2010 by Dean Watson · Leave a Comment 

Is your headache or migraine preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, discomfort or pain?

If so, this a strong indicator that your neck is involved.

Furthermore if your neck stiffness, discomfort or pain radiates down towards your shoulder blade, or running out over the top towards the shoulder this tells us that it is the C2-3 segment, that is, the joint between the second and third vertebrae that is at fault.

If the joint between the first and second vertebrae (C1-2 segment) is stiffness, discomfort or pain is felt a couple of centimetres below the base of your skull – and does not spread like C2-3.

Likewise if the headache or migraine is emanating coming from the joint between the skull and the first vertebrae (CO-C1 segment), the discomfort, stiffness (if you feel any at all – many headache sufferers are not aware of a problem until we lay our thumbs on it!) will be just under the base of the skull.

To Summarise & Steps to Finding a Practitioner

So to summarise, if your headache or migraine is one sided and can occur on either side, or can swap sides within the same episode; if your headache or migraine is preceded or accompanied by neck stiffness, pain or discomfort; and if your headache or migraine has gradually increased in frequency over the years, there is a strong probability that your headache or migraine is coming from a neck disorder. But the final confirmation is temporary reproduction and lessening of familiar head pain when we examine your neck. This is a key to diagnosing neck related or cervicogenic headache.

Would you like an Internationally Trained Practitioner to assist you with your Headache or Migraine pain?

About Dean Watson
Consultant Headache & Migraine Physiotherapist; International Teacher; Director, The Headache Clinic & Watson Headache Institute; PhD Candidate Murdoch University, Western Australia; Adjunct Lecturer, Masters Program, Physiotherapy School, University of South Australia; MAppSc(Res) GradDipAdvManipTher Experienced health practitioners trained in the Watson Headache Approach perform the examination and treatment techniques developed by Dean Watson. These techniques are based on his extensive experience of 7000 headache patients (21,000 hours) over 21 years and are now taught internationally. For your nearest practitioner who has completed training in the ‘Watson Headache Approach’ please refer to the ‘Practitioner Directory’.

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