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HANDS ON TO TURN MIGRAINE ON ITS HEAD
The neck joints and muscles support the head, move it and our visual fields through space. Not just is the neck joint a pillar of support for the head but it is part of a complex navigation system giving vital data to the brain on movement, direction and speed of us and the world around us.
neck joints and muscles as sensors
Headache, Heavy head, Tilting
Neck pain, Ear pain, Tinnitus
Joint stiffness, Swaying
All of the above can be part of a neck problem and Neck Dizziness or what we call Cervicogenic Dizziness.
Dizziness or vertigo can come from many other potential sources. These include nervous system problems (neurological), heart and circulation issues (cardiovascular) and inner ear labyrinth disturbances ( peripheral vestibular). One form of inner ear vertigo we can treat is BPPV- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. You can find more about this here on one of our other blogs.
Cervicogenic Dizziness is a sensory illusion of motion and disequilibrium. It is common, however people are unsure of what the symptoms mean, let alone that the neck is the source of this dizziness. It is important to correctly identify it and treat it as it does not settle without help. It can be associated with migraine like symptoms, headaches, neck sprain or strain, concussion or whiplash.
Some clues to diagnosis are:
Physiotherapy Treatment is effective by doing the following.
Results from treatment are usually always positive. Those who struggle to improve do well with management that includes other causes for dizziness or where there are compounding illnesses or musculoskeletal issues.
1. Wrisley DM et al. 2000. JOSPT, 30:12. 755-66
Teeth grinding is commonly remarked upon by people who suffer head, neck or jaw problems and we can observe its effects in our patients. It affects up to almost a third of the population(1). We clinicians call this bruxism and it is defined as abnormal mouth activity with increased muscle activity.
If you suffer difficulty opening and closing the mouth, jaw clicks, jaw locking or stiffness/heaviness of the face or jaw, these put you at greater chance of having it. A recent German physiotherapy study confirmed that the presence of bruxism does make neck and jaw pain and disability worse(2).
Whether this occurs in your waking hours or during sleep, it is the same subconscious mechanism and points to complex brain functioning and many other factors. Some of which can easily be changed with lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol.
Bruxism is the perfect storm
Luca Scomazzon-Rossi APAM
Luca graduated from a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with honours and has a background in personal training.
Jayce Gilbert FACP, APAM
Clinic director & Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist* in treatment for back, neck, headache and TMD (Jaw/Face) problems.