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Headaches are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. It is very likely that most people will experience some type of headache in their lifetime. Headaches are said to be one of the most debilitating disorders in the world alongside neck pain. While there are an abundance of different types of headaches one may experience, the 3 generally most common ones a physiotherapist will see in clinic are:
Types of Headaches
Of the 3 outlined above, tension headaches are generally the most common type of headache. These headaches are described as creating a pressing or tightening sensation around the head, neck, or jaw. Tension headaches can be stimulated from physical and/or emotional stress.
Migraines can often feel like the most intense of the headaches. These types of headaches often involve nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light and/or sound, and even auras. Migraines will also involve a throbbing or pulsating type sensation. While the true underlying cause of migraines is a grey area, it is believed there are various environmental and genetic factors that play a role in triggering such headaches. Certain types of foods, stress, exposure to certain stimuli, and even weather are all examples of potential triggers for migraines in different people.
Cervicogenic headaches are the type of headaches that are secondary to neck pain. As such, it is common for people to first experience worsening of their neck pain, which then translates into a headache which can often resemble that of a migraine. Poor posture, stress, overactive or weak muscles are all examples of factors which can influence neck pain and thus a cervicogenic headache.
How Physiotherapy can help
Physiotherapists are experts in diagnosing and treating posture related disorders. A thorough physiotherapy assessment can help to establish what the underlying cause may be of your headaches and the appropriate course of treatment. Physiotherapists can utilize a scope of skills to help provide relief of headaches, some of which may include manual therapy, soft tissue work, dry needling, exercises, and education.
If you have been experiencing headaches it may be worth seeing a physiotherapist in order to gain an understanding as to why they are happening.
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