Cervicogenic Headaches: A Pain In The Neck!

If you’re a sufferer of recurrent headaches and migraines, you’ll know just how difficult they can be to deal with, let alone treat.

With more than 300 different types of known headaches, getting to the bottom of that horrible, throbbing head pain can often be a long & tricky road for so many.


We’re accredited by the Watson Headache Institute

Here at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy, we are proud to be a practice accredited with the Watson Headache Institute. This is a key institution in Australia led by Dr Dean Watson, who are passionate about spreading the word that many headaches and migraines are caused by neck disorders.

We encourage you to click on the link above to learn more about what Dr Dean Watson & his team have discovered through extensive research about how the neck can be a primary cause of your headaches and migraines.


Cervicogenic headaches

 Cervicogenic headache is the medically known term for ‘neck headache’. These headaches are purely secondary, usually occurring as the result of a neck joint problem.

Here are some of the symptoms of a classic, cervicogenic headache:

– Tenderness at the base of the skull
– Neck stiffness or loss of movement in the neck
– A headache that radiates from the back of the head to the front
– A headache that is irritated by movement of the neck
– Your headache is usually ALWAYS on one side (the same side)
– Your headache sits behind the eye/over one side near the brow bone
– Throbbing head pain
– Throbbing when coughing or sneezing
– And occasional facial pain on the affected side


What causes cervicogenic headaches?

Usually, the primary cause of a neck headache is a dysfunction in the upper neck joints, nerves or muscles. As an example, this could involve disc or joint trouble. This pain is then interpreted by the body as a headache.


The Watson approach to headaches

Yes, you heard correctly! Your neck may be the main reason for your ongoing headaches. The Watson approach to headaches:

– Is medication free
– Gets to the root cause of your headache
– Has a long-term record of success
– And many patients see improvements quickly


How are cervicogenic headaches diagnosed in the practice?

When you come to the practice, one of our experienced physiotherapists who are accredited with The Watson Institute will listen and understand your headache history. They will then take you through a thorough assessment process. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like.

Once we have confirmed the diagnosis, we will then:

– Talk to you about the best treatment options
– Perform some hands-on treatment for immediate relief
– Create a personalised program for you
– Suggest exercises for you to do at home, in your own time
– Give you strategies and tips to minimise your headaches


Get help sooner rather than later

We know just how debilitating and exhausting headaches and migraines can be. They can affect your job, your family life & of course your health. If you or a family member are experiencing ongoing headaches, don’t hesitate to contact the practice with any questions that you may have before booking in an appointment.

With many of our patients already leading headache free lives after years of ongoing headaches, know that our highly experienced physiotherapists can get to the source of your headaches and bring your relief, quickly.

Call Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy today on (02) 4721 7798 or email info@progressiverehab.com.au. You can also book online by clicking here.

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.