Migraines and cervicogenic headaches

...an example of how manual therapy can be used to assess and treat cervicogenic and migraine headache

Migraine headaches arise without an identifiable cause, while cervicogenic headaches (CGH) are attributed to causes from the cervical spine. However, migraines and CGH can co-exist in the same patient so they can be difficult to distinguish.

A diagnostic and treatment strategy is provided: applying a sustained pressure to the upper cervical spine can be used to both provoke as well as reduce a headache. In the cervical spine review of the subject of this particular case study, protraction of the upper cervical spine provoked, and retraction reduced the headache.

A positive outcome was achieved with a combination of hands on therapy and a home exercise programme for self-mobilisation, deep neck flexor strengthening, and shoulder strengthening.


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