Headaches

Authored by Isabel Armsworth.

1. Cervicogenic Headaches
Refer to headaches that are caused by dysfunction in the neck, resulting in pain referring to the head and face. Often the upper cervical joints, muscles, ligaments and adjacent nerves are the culprits causing the pain!
Cervicogenic headaches usually present as one-sided, nagging pain that isn’t throbbing. They will typically be behind the eye or temple, and be associated with neck pain at base of skull. They will be aggravated by movements of the neck, prolonged neck postures or prolonged pressure to the base of the skull. Sufferers may also complain of nausea, poor concentration, irritability, dizziness, light-headedness, stiffness and visual disturbances Physio can help by addressing the underlying joint, soft tissue and postural dysfunctions using manual techniques and exercise therapy.

2. Migraines
Why people get migraines is still not fully understood, although genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role. Common triggers include hormone changes, food, sleep changes, stress and sensory stimuli, although there are many more!
A migraine is defined as a severe, throbbing headache which is usually one-sided. It is often accompanied by vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. A migraine can last for hours to days. Medication can help control severity and frequency of migraines. Physio can help by addressing neck dysfunctions that may be triggering or enhancing migraines.

3. Tension-Type Headaches
These are one of the most common types of headaches. Typically, they are a mild-moderate intensity, non-throbbing headache on both sides of the head. They usually aren’t accompanied by vomiting or nausea and aren’t aggravated by movements of the neck. However, they are associated with tenderness and tension of the muscles of the head, neck and shoulders.
Physio can help by providing manual therapy to address underlying muscle tension to reduce pain, in combination with analgesics.

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