Headaches and You

Thoracic Extension StretchOften during our assessments, we will find tight, ropey or stiff areas that are really painful and you were unaware they were there. Our brains are really good at ignoring musculoskeletal pain, especially when it has happened slowly over time or remains the same every day. This is one of the reasons why pain/injuries can occur seemingly out of nowhere.

One of the symptoms our clients complain of is a headache. Headaches are a symptom of different causes and affect many Australians often on a weekly or even daily basis.

There are several types of headache; migraine, tension-type, cervicogenic or combined. Primary headaches such as those with migraine and tension type headaches can get symptom relief from the tips from this link and manual therapy by a physiotherapist. This is especially true since they are commonly combined with mechanical impairments, however other factors may also be at play. A cervicogenic headache occurs secondary to a neck dysfunction and can greatly benefit from the aforementioned tips/ physio treatment.

Neck Pain and Headache

If the nervous system receives excessive signals from the neck it can become sensitised and referred headaches can occur prior to any feeling of neck pain. Other individuals may notice a lack of neck range or pain/ stiffness in the neck. Cervicogenic headaches may be aggravated with neck movements, postures or worsens by the end of day or work week. Textbook cervicogenic headaches are intermittent and usually side dominant, however if neck dysfunction is bilateral or it is a mixed migraine or tension-type headache with cervicogenic contribution this may not be the case.

Headache Treatment

Using specific hands on assessment techniques, Barefoot physiotherapists can assess muscle and joint dysfunction in the neck, with a special focus on the upper neck which is most closely related to neck-caused headaches. Where the neck is a significant cause of headaches, treatment of these joints and muscles can help de-load the area and dampen down the sensitised nervous system which provides relief of headache symptoms. Therapists will also assess your various postures to ensure you are set up in the best way to