Cervicogenic headaches / Whiplash injury

Cervicogenic headaches and whiplash injuries are closely related conditions that involve the cervical spine (neck) and can cause significant pain and discomfort. Here’s an overview of each condition:

Cervicogenic headaches Whiplash injury
  1. Cervicogenic Headaches:

    • Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that originate from dysfunction or pathology in the cervical spine, particularly the upper cervical vertebrae and associated soft tissues.
    • These headaches are often described as dull, aching, and localized to the base of the skull, temples, forehead, or behind the eyes.
    • Common causes of cervicogenic headaches include muscle tension, joint dysfunction, nerve irritation, poor posture, and neck trauma.
    • Contributing factors may include prolonged sitting, repetitive neck movements, stress, and poor ergonomics.
    • Treatment for cervicogenic headaches may include:
      • Physiotherapy: Manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage, and trigger point therapy can help reduce muscle tension and improve cervical joint mobility.
      • Exercise therapy: Strengthening exercises for the neck and shoulder muscles, as well as stretching and postural correction exercises, can help improve neck stability and alignment.
      • Posture correction: Education on proper posture and ergonomics, along with ergonomic modifications to workstations and daily activities, can help alleviate strain on the neck and reduce headache frequency.
      • Pain management: Modalities such as heat or cold therapy, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques may be used to help manage pain and alleviate headache symptoms.
      • Education: Providing information on lifestyle modifications, stress management techniques, and strategies to prevent exacerbation of symptoms can empower individuals to manage their headaches more effectively.

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  • Whiplash Injury:
    • Whiplash injury occurs when the head is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward, often as a result of a rear-end car collision or other traumatic event.
    • Common symptoms of whiplash injury include neck pain, stiffness, headache, dizziness, shoulder pain, and sometimes numbness or tingling in the arms.
    • Whiplash injury can result in soft tissue damage, muscle strain, ligament sprain, and cervical spine misalignment.
    • Treatment for whiplash injury may include:
      • Rest and activity modification: Initially, rest may be recommended to allow injured tissues to heal, followed by gradual return to normal activities and exercises to restore mobility and strength.
      • Neck immobilization: In some cases, a cervical collar or neck brace may be prescribed to immobilize the neck and limit movement during the acute phase of injury.
      • Manual therapy: Hands-on techniques such as gentle mobilizations, massage, and myofascial release can help reduce pain, improve cervical joint mobility, and release muscle tension.
      • Exercise therapy: Specific exercises targeting neck and shoulder muscles can help improve strength, flexibility, and postural alignment, reducing the risk of chronic pain and disability.
      • Modalities: Modalities such as heat therapy, cold therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation may be used to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue healing.
      • Education: Providing information on the nature of whiplash injury, expected recovery timeline, and self-care strategies can empower individuals to take an active role in their recovery and prevent long-term complications.

Both cervicogenic headaches and whiplash injuries can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, but with appropriate treatment and management from experts here in Florey Physiotherapy Clinic Canberra , most people experience improvement in symptoms and functional outcomes over time. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor, for a comprehensive assessment and personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and condition.


Monday / Wednesday / Thursday
8 am–12:30 pm, 2:30–6 pm

Tuesday / Friday
8 am–12:30 pm, 2–5:30 pm

8:30 am–12:30 pm ( appointments only )
Sunday Closed

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