A headache that is caused by the muscles, joints, or nerves in the upper neck or base of the skull is called a cervicogenic headache. This area is the place where your spine connects to your head. An injury or strain to this area can result in chronic neck pain and headaches that can feel just as bad as migraines. Cervicogenic headaches can even mimic some of the symptoms of a migraine headache, such as light and noise sensitivity, blurred vision, and upset stomach.
How can physical therapy exercises help with my cervicogenic headaches?
Physical therapy is considered the first line of treatment when it comes to cervicogenic headaches. A virtual physical therapist can instruct you in a number of cervicogenic headache exercises you can do at home. Here are three cervicogenic headache exercises that your physical therapist may recommend:
- Corner pec stretch — Face the corner of a room. Position your feet together, about 2 feet away from the corner of the room. Place one forearm on each wall, with the elbows slightly below shoulder height. Lean forward until you feel a stretch across the chest and shoulders. Hold the stretch 30 to 60 seconds.
- Cervical retraction — Tuck your chin down toward your neck. Keeping your chin where it is, press your head back in a diagonal direction. Feel the stretch at the back of your neck. Repeat this stretch 10 times before resting.
- Shoulder squeeze — Raise your arms to shoulder height, elbows bent and palms forward. Move your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat this five times.
Is virtual physical therapy right for me?
While in-person physical therapy might be the right choice for some, many people face barriers that make it more difficult for them to access health care. This can include limited mobility, remote location, or transportation difficulties. Virtual physical therapy can remove those barriers and give patients access to the quality of care that they deserve.
Agile Virtual Physical Therapy is dedicated to the wellness of our physical therapy patients. A free screening can help us create a virtual physical therapy plan that is perfectly suited to your needs.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.