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I’ve been getting headaches that originate at the base of my skull. I don’t normally have headaches and haven’t had any trauma or injury to my neck or head. What could be the source of the headache, and could physical therapy help?


Your headache could be the result of several factors. What you could be experiencing may be a “tension headache.” This occurs fairly frequently, particularly when you are in a sustained position such as with computer work. This is often associated with tension or soreness throughout the shoulders and upper back. In this case, you should assess your posture/ ergonomic set up, and make appropriate changes. Poor work station posture is often to blame. Another possible source of the headache could be due to a specific problem in your cervical spine (neck). This could include joint stiffness, a pinched nerve, or even arthritis. Physical therapy can be very beneficial as your therapist will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your neck, and address any other possible contributing factors such as posture. Your therapist can utilize a variety of treatment options in order to reduce your pain, restore neck mobility, and decrease muscle tension. In addition, you can learn skills and techniques to help manage your symptoms on your own. If your headache worsens or is accompanied by dizziness, visual changes, pain into both arms or legs, or numbness around the lips/face, you should consult with your physician.
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