Nearly all of us have experienced headaches. Headaches are the most common neurological disorder with up to 1 adult in 20 experiencing one every day. When they occur repeatedly, they are a symptom of a headache disorder, which are painful and disabling.
Common types of headaches
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, fatigue, emotional upsets as well as poor posture or jaw clenching.
The symptoms of tension headaches include a constant tight, heavy or pressing sensation around the head, generalised and diffuse pain. The pain is usually felt on both sides of the head.
Cervicogenic headaches stem from the uppermost joints of the cervical spine (neck). If these joints have extra load through for example from poor posture they can get aggravated or stiff and cause headaches. Other neck disorders such as whiplash or osteoarthritis may also be a cause for these headaches.
The symptoms of cervigogenic headaches are often one sides and include reduced neck movement or increased stiffness, pain that is usually non throbbing or radiating and may begin just as a pain or heaviness in the neck.
Migraines affect at least 1 in 7 adults. They do not have a single, simple cause. Factors vary from person to person and there is need for further research into why they occur. Some triggers include hormonal changes, genetics, stress, medications and altered sleeping patterns.
The symptoms of migraine headaches include a throbbing or pulsating intense pain, with sensitivity to light or noise and sometimes comes with nausea or vomiting.
But if it’s my neck, why is there pain in my head?
The nerves in the upper neck interact with the sensory nerves that supply the neck and face such that it allows for a two way flow of painful sensations. Thus pain and reduced mobility in the neck is felt in the head.
What can BeachLife Physiotherapy do to help?
Physiotherapy can reduce the severity and frequency of headaches and also assist in long term management to reduce frequency and intensity of flare ups. This will be achieved through:
If you experience headaches or need advice on any of the above, please do not hesitate to call us to book an appointment on 9970 7982, or alternatively book online at beachlifephysio.com.
Biondi, D.M. (2005) Cervicogenic Headache: A Review of Diagnostic and Treatment Strategies, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, vol. 105, pp. 16S-22S.
Headache Australia (2018) Headache Types: Tension-type Headache, accessed 7/3/2018, http://headacheaustralia.org.au/headachetypes/tension-type-headache/.
World Health Organisation (2018) ‘How common are headaches?’ accessed 7/3/2018. http://www.who.int/features/qa/25/en/