Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cervical Headaches

Robin McKenzie’s first “Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Cervical/Thoracic Spine” text published in 1990 sites that the specific epidemiological data on the subject of cervical headaches was rather sparse. He references a study by Frykholm that of all headaches in practice, headaches of cervical origin were the most frequent. This certainly holds true in our practice. With the increase use of laptops and computerized workstations, forward head postures and loss of the ability to retract the cervical spine and extend the thoracic spine certainly contributes to mechanical derangement of the upper cervical region.

I am once again amazed by the rapid reversal of cervical headaches as I had a patient this week with a two and a half week history of constant headache which was simply relieved with a sustained cervical retraction position. With the use of joint mobilization and exercise to increase her flexibility, she is able to keep her symptoms abolished with relatively simple posture correction and exercise.

How many people out there suffer from cervical induced headaches that continue to rely on medications which do not resolve mechanical headaches?

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