Headache & Vertigo
Headaches affect approximately two-thirds of the population with a large proportion including an element of neck referral – we call these a Cervicogenic Headache. They are frequently caused by joint or muscular dysfunction in the upper neck joints and are exacerbated by poor posture, stress, or increased tension in the spine. Cervicogenic headaches can occur at the back of the head, feel like a brick is sitting on the top of your head, or feel like a firm band of pressure or sharpness in the side of the head or face.
We love headaches and migraines at City Physio!
Expert physiotherapy can assist in the management of headaches and migraines by very specifically assessing and addressing musculoskeletal dysfunction that can occur in the upper 3 joints of the neck, working to realign them, unload the discs and muscles, and identify contributing factors. This is not your usual physiotherapy treatment! Headaches require an expert, holistic, and targeted approach to determine the factors contributing to the pain, including; shoulder and upper back stiffness, whole body posture, tooth clenching, and workplace stress – this is a focused approach to the specific joints causing the pain and dysfunction!
Nicola our Principal Physiotherapist, is trained in both muscle energy, osteopathic manual therapy, and the Watson Headache approach. She also has a special interest in head, face and neck pain. These techniques, and her highly trained hands, allow for a very focused, hands on approach to zone in on the specific joints that are being overloaded, poorly aligned, or compressed contributing to headaches.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a condition characterised by episodes of sudden and debilitating vertigo (dizziness) when moving your head around. Common triggers often include rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, checking your blind spot, and lifting your head to look up. The vertigo is often described as feeling like you are turning around when you are standing still, or like the room moves suddenly and uncontrollably in one direction (like a merry go round).
The cause is often attributed to little crystals inside the ear becoming dislodged. Inside the inner ear is a series of canals filled with fluid. These canals are all at different angles. When the head is moved, the rolling of the crystals inside these canals tells the brain exactly how far, how fast, and in what direction the head is moving
When these crystals become dislodged from their fluid, your body becomes confused as to which way is up and down, or left and right, and sends confusing signals to the brain that gives the feeling of dizziness whenever you move your head! This can be quite debilitating, but when accurately diagnosed and treated, can be settled in 1 to 2 treatments! BPPV can be treated with simple exercises, taught by your physiotherapist who is familiar with the techniques required.
BPPV can subside with time, but it is important to seek treatment in the early stages to prevent falls or injury.
These physio techniques aim to move the crystals out of the semicircular canal of the inner ear, and into an area of the inner ear, where they no longer cause dizziness.
Sometimes a second treatment may be necessary, but you should notice a change nearly instantaneously from the first assessment.
BPPV-trained physiotherapists undertake specific training to diagnose and successfully treat BPPV. City Physio has BPPV trained physio’s on staff.