There is no such thing as a typical headache. It’s been calculated that there are more than 300 different types of headaches, and many of them can be treated by us at our Epsom physio clinic. Even if we can’t resolve your particular issue, we can direct you to the people who can.
Cervicogenic headaches are the most common of them all, and we are the best people to take away the pain associated with them. Cervicogenic headaches are triggered or aggravated by neck movements, prolonged and awkward neck postures, and/or sustained pressure to the base of the skull. They’re often associated with discomfort in the shoulder or arm, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, difficulty in maintaining concentration and even visual disturbances. These types of headaches are treated through physiotherapy, using a range of manual therapy techniques to address the joint and soft tissue dysfunctions in the neck.
Migraines are the second most common form of headache. These affect women more than men and often begin before the age of 30, but rarely after the age of 50. A migraine headache is a one-sided, often throbbing headache that can last for as long as three days. Migraine headaches are bad enough on their own but they can also occur alongside other distressing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and heightened sensitivity to light or sound. Other symptoms have also been noticed and they can include vertigo, dizziness, confusion, dysarthria (difficulty in speaking), tingling in the extremities, and a loss of coordination. While it is widely believed that strong medication is the only thing that can fix a migraine, physiotherapy can be helpful in addressing cervical (neck) dysfunctions that may increase the pain. Meanwhile, a review in 2011 found that a combination of massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and manipulative therapy can also be beneficial in managing a migraine.
Tension headaches are next on the list. They occur when neck and scalp muscles become tense or contract as a response to stress, depression, head injury, or anxiety. They come on at any age but most commonly in adults and older teens, especially women. Management of tension headaches often involves physiotherapy to reduce any areas of tightness.
With more than 300 types of headaches, we could go on and on and on…there are headaches caused by vascular disorders, head trauma, alcohol and drug abuse, temporal arteritis, and so much more. We all get a headache every now and then – but if they’re a regular and unwelcome fixture in your life, seek professional health advice. Physiotherapy can be very effective in identifying and resolving many types of headaches, so contacting us is a good place to start.