Most of us have experienced some sort of headache type at a point in our lives. For some, they are infrequent and mild; for others, headaches can be a frequent and debilitating occurrence.
There are three common types of headaches. They are cervicogenic headaches, migraine and tension headaches.
In this blog we take an in-depth look at these types of headaches, their causes and most importantly, what can be done to fix them?
Common Types of Headaches
The most common types of headaches are:
- Cervicogenic headaches – These are secondary to neck disorders. Upper neck joints or muscles causing ache referral to head.
- Migraine – A common headache disorder with a range of different types and varying in intensity and symptoms. It is usually characterised as moderate to severe intensity and often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
- Tension-type headaches – One of the most common types of headaches, usually described as a band-like headache on both sides of the head with a tightening quality.
There are many different causes of headaches. They can often be caused by neck disorders or physical and emotional tension such as stress, muscle tension, or jaw issues. These causes may be managed with a physio.
Allergic reactions, infections or other various factors may also be a cause of headaches. For migraines and headaches caused by the above-mentioned factors, a physio can recommend the appropriate medical practitioner for you to see.
The common types of headaches you would need to see a physio for are:
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Headache referral due to musculoskeletal condition – such as jaw disorders
- Tension type headaches
Headache Physio Brisbane – how can we help?
Physiotherapists are experts in human movement, posture and musculoskeletal conditions.
They can analyse the type of headache you have and determine if your neck is causing or contributing to the headaches. Physios help to identify if the headaches are of musculoskeletal origin.
A physio is then able to correct the dysfunction leading to the headaches.
This may involve:
- Joint mobilisation
- Posture assessment
- Correction and advice
Our North Brisbane based physio may also use specific neck strength and endurance exercises to normalise any joint stiffness, improve neck movement range and improve postural neck muscles endurance and activity.
When to get help for headaches from a physio
Contact your North West Physiotherapy if you think your headaches may be neck related or if medical assessments have ruled out migraines and other headaches. causing conditions.
Signs that suggest that your neck may be the cause of the headaches may involve:
- Headache concurrent and associated with neck pain
- Headaches always being on the one side of the head
- Neck movement restriction
- Headaches that increase with neck movement or prolonged postures
- Headaches with dizziness or light-headedness
- When headaches that have eased but pressure still occurring in the head
Exercises for Headache
There are several exercises you can do to relieve your headache. These include:
- Postural exercises – Think tall, chest lightly lifted, shoulders relaxed, head level and chin gently tucked in. Imagine you have a string down the back of your head, and it is slowly pulling you upright. Hold for 10 seconds and perform throughout the day.
- Neck Stretches – Sitting or standing upright, bend and rotate head and bring nose towards armpit. A gentle stretch should be felt on top of the shoulder you are turned away from. Hold this position for 30 seconds then slightly rotate head to the other side. You should then feel another muscle stretch. Hold again for another 30 secs
- Take frequent breaks – Having regular rest allows you to change your posture and helps prevent muscles from tensing up. This is a good opportunity to do some stretches.
Recovery time can vary depending on the type of headache the Physio is dealing with.
It is also dependant on each individual presentation and activity requirements.
If the type of headache is cervicogenic headaches, improvements should be seen almost immediately but may take 6 weeks to 3 months to resolve.
Physiotherapy has shown significant long-term improvements for people with cervicogenic headaches.
Different Headache Type and to Treat Them
Headaches are a common ailment that can be caused by a variety of things.
However, there are also a variety of treatments available to help alleviate the pain.
If you suffer from headaches, be sure to talk to your Physio today to find the best treatment option for you.