Types of headaches-
There are 2 common headaches that responds well with physiotherapy- a cervicogenic headache or a tension headache.
The cervicogenic headache develops from pressure or damage to the neck or spine. These headaches can be caused by incorrect posture, a whiplash injury or from certain diseases.
Headaches that begin from tension in the neck are also types of pain that physiotherapy can help with. Tension usually starts at the top of the neck and then spreads upwards to the back of the head. The headache can then develop at the temples or forehead and even behind the eyes. Migraines and tension headaches benefit from physiotherapy because relieving tension in the muscles is usually key to treating the pain.
There are general symptoms that might suggest a headache stems from a neck problem. The headache may be made worse by neck movement or remaining in one position for long periods (such as sitting at a desk). Headaches that are worse on just one side of the head and headaches that are eased by placing pressure on the base of the skull suggest a neck related problem. A physiotherapist can determine if your neck is the cause or contributing factor to your headache.
Some of the physio treatment techniques that may be used are:
• Mobilisation of stiff joints
• Soft tissue release of tight muscles
• Stretching exercises
• Strengthening for weak muscles
• Heat treatment
• Acupuncture or dry needling.
Your physiotherapist will also provide postural and ergonomic advice if this is outlined to be a contributing factor. Discussion of correct pillow and workstation setup may also be provided as well as other preventative measures.
Headaches do not have to be something that you live with on a day to day basis, so consult your physiotherapist to discuss how you can prevent these from occurring.