This remains a complex problem. The musculoskeletal system is one of a lengthy list of possible causes. Differential diagnosis, that is identifying the actual cause from all the possibilities, can be difficult.

For example headaches can be caused by problems affecting the brain and/or its blood supply, the ears, eyes, nose and sinuses, the throat, dental issues and stress. Headaches can also present as a component of imbalances in body chemistry, hormonal levels, or issues affecting blood pressure.

At Spine Care we deal with headaches caused by the musculoskeletal system. Like all other conditions the pattern of the symptoms, what is provocative, what is reductive etc. gives us valuable information as to how to best manage each individual problem.

Many headaches that originate from the musculoskeletal system have a postural element. It is common for people to carry the head and neck protruded forward of the body. This places undue stress on a number of structures which over time will often result in headaches and neck pain. There are some relatively simple exercises to correct for this type of problem.

The overall posture that results in this forward head position will, among other things, impact negatively on our breathing pattern and in turn our ability to cope with stress. Correction of the postural fault and breathing pattern can have a dramatic influence on headaches, the impact of stress and our general feeling of wellbeing.

A movement fault at one of the cervical (neck) vertebra is another way the neck can cause headaches. This can be a recurrent problem and once again there are commonly simple exercises that can be used to treat the complaint. Joint mobilization and manipulation are also effective treatments of the presenting symptoms but targeted self treatment still has the greatest chance of achieving a long lasting solution.