Headache affects two thirds of the world’s population and is one of the most common symptoms of a variety of illnesses.  Headaches have a number of potential causes and can be a sign of a more serious medical problem.  It’s advisable that headaches lasting a prolonged period of time and not responding to normal painkillers should be investigated fully.  However many headaches are simply caused by muscle tension.

Muscle tension or Cervicogenic headaches have the following common features:

  • Sufferer aged 20-60 years
  • Pain felt base of the skull, possibly behind the eye or around the temple at the side of the head
  • Affect one side of the head only
  • Possible history of trauma (e.g. Whiplash)
  • Aggravated by prolonged poor posture
  • Often sufferer wakes up with the headache
  • Associated with stress


Manual therapy is an effective treatment for muscle tension or cervicogenic headaches and focuses on the mobilisation of the upper cervical vertebrae.  Soft tissue therapy to cervical muscles and fascia is essential to re-education of learned poor posture.  Trigger point release through either manual therapy or trigger point dry needling is also an effective treatment modality for cervicogenic headaches.  All these treatment techniques are available at Laurel Lodge Physiotherapy.

Whatever the ultimate cause of your headache it’s important to have persistent headaches that don’t respond to painkillers investigated fully and the potential for it being musculoskeletal in origin should not be overlooked!