Headaches and Migraines are one of the most debilitating chronic pain conditions

Your headache symptoms can help your Doctor or Physiotherapist determine the cause and the appropriate treatment. Most headaches aren’t the result of a serious illness, but can result from a life-threatening condition requiring emergency care.

Symptoms of Headaches or Migraines

Symptoms that often accompany headache pain include – 

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Neck Pain
  • Blurred Vision
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • Sensitivity to loud music
  • An aura or visual disturbances such as flashes, splotches, zigzags, or shimmering coloured
    lights surrounding a blind spot
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

Types of Headaches

There are several different types of headaches, however in most cases neck or cervical spine dysfunction, muscle tightness, stress and tension play a considerable role.

Headaches are generally classified by cause:

  • A primary headache is caused by overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn’t a symptom of an underlying disease.  The most common types of Primary headaches are Cluster headaches, Migraine, Migraine with aura, Tension headache, and Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC).
  • A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head.  The most common types of Secondary headaches include Ice cream headaches, Medication overuse headaches, Sinus headaches, Spinal headaches, or Thunderclap headaches.

Causes of Headaches

Generally, anything that stimulates the pain receptors in a person’s head or neck can cause a headache, and can include

  • stress
  • muscular tension
  • Changes in sleep or lack of sleep
  • dental or jaw problems
  • infections
  • diet
  • eye problems
  • hormonal influences
  • medications
  • disorders of the ear, nose or throat
  • disorders of the nervous system
  • injury to the head, neck or spine
  • high blood pressure
  • poor posture – puts unnecessary strain on the muscles of the back and neck
  • hangover from abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • temperature – extremes of heat or cold
  • dehydration – affects blood pressure
  • noise – especially loud noises
  • temporal arteritis – inflammation of the artery at the temple, most common in elderly people
  • arthritis
  • meningitis

Physiotherapy for Headaches

Physiotherapists can assess and treat your headache and related symptoms.  They are trained to focus on the source of your headache and address joint dysfunction, muscular tightness, and postural correction. 

Physiotherapists utilise manual treatment techniques to mobilise stiff joints and release tight muscles. Additionally, physiotherapy provides you with specific exercises, self-management strategies, and all-embracing relief from your headache.

Jack Clancy, a physiotherapist at Sandgate Physical Health Clinic explains that “we can teach you how to correct your posture, stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak deep neck muscles”.

The Watson Headache Approach

The Watson Headache Approach, developed by Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Dean Watson, is essentially a method of examining the movements of and managing musculoskeletal misbehaviour of the top three spinal segments of the neck.

Trained and certified Watson Headache Practitioners can use their expert training and experience to treat your headache and underlying neck pain. This approach has the potential to offer immediate relief from your headaches and improve your quality of life. Many people have tried ‘everything else’ including high levels of medication, injections and even surgery before finding relief with this approach.

Headache & Migraine Initial Consultations at Sandgate Physical Health Clinic

All our therapists are trained to assess and treat headaches and migraines.  Sometimes though, a headache is not that simple and many headache and migraine sufferers have long and complex histories. 

For these patients we strongly suggest booking a 1 Hour Headache & Migraine Initial Consultation appointment with either Trina Morris, Level 3 Watson Headache Certified, or Jack Clancy, one of our level 2 Watson trained physiotherapists. The extra time allows for a thorough assessment and detailed plan of action to help get our patients headache and migraine free, improving their quality of life.

To book please call us on 38691099 or BOOK ONLINE.