We can help your with you Headaches!
Headaches are among the top 10 causes of disability! They are a complex problem, which affects the majority of the global population and can be present at all stages of life.
The International Headache Society classifies headaches into three main categories:
- Secondary and
- Cranial Neuropathies (and other headaches)
Primary headaches include: tension-type (frequent low-grade pressing or squeezing affecting both sides of the head), chronic daily, exertional/primary exercise headaches (following exercise), and of course migraines (sharp intense throbbing pain that can start in the head on one side, then spread throughout the head, with or without aura).
Secondary headaches include: cervicogenic headaches (gradual onset that relates to the neck and spread to one side of the head), temporomandibular (TMJ), infection induced (respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, influenza), trauma/concussion and drug induced (alcohol, caffeine, analgesics).
Cranial neuropathies and other headaches include: occipital neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia.
Most headaches are benign and do not require intensive medical evaluation. However, it is of primary importance for a clinician to identify when a headache is a symptom of serious pathology, in which case urgent medical attention is required. Warning signals may include a sudden onset of severe or atypical headache pain with associated neurological and/or systemic conditions.
Management for headaches should be multifactorial – identifying, treating and avoiding precipitating factors. Many symptoms can ease with sleep and rest in a quiet room and with medical management. Longer term management includes restoring bodily homeostasis and maintaining adequate diet, hydration and sleep, and reducing stress and anxiety.
What headaches do Physiotherapists treat?
Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that have a gradual onset, relating to your neck and shoulders.
When to see a Physiotherapist for your headache?
If you’re not able to manage your headache on your own, feel tension in your neck, shoulders or face or if your headache has been hanging around for a few days.
As Physiotherapists we are experts in identifying cervicogenic headaches and work to reduce and prevent recurrence. Our headache assessment involves systematic questioning, followed by a thorough assessment of your neck, head and upper body. Following this we will outline an appropriate treatment plan.
Note: Precipitating factors found in association of headaches often include a change in homeostasis in the body, resulting in tiredness, thirst, hunger, stress and temperature change.