Physio for Headaches & Migraines

Headaches are very common and can range in intensity from a mild irritation to very debilitating. Headaches can be located on the front of your head, the back of your eyes, the temple region and across the back of your head where all your neck muscles join. 
Sometimes, headaches can be caused by high levels of sustained stress, prolonged periods of sitting and poor posture but can also seemingly begin with no obvious reasons.

Types of headaches and their symptoms

Cervicogenic headaches

Many headaches stem from the cervical (neck) region and are termed “cervico-genic headaches”. These headaches are commonly associated with tightness in the neck, shoulder or thoracic muscles. There are important nerves that exit the spine in the top three levels of the neck (known as C1, C2 and C3). If these nerves are irritated for any reason, they will refer pain into the head. This headache is commonly associated with neck pain.

Tension headaches

This common type of headache causes tightness or a dull pain on both sides of the head. Tension headaches are regularly seen in people who are suffering from prolonged bouts of stress. Tension headaches and poor posture are also good friends and like to present together.

Migraine headaches

Migraines and the headaches that come with them are very strong and overwhelming. These headaches are usually associated with sensitivity to light / noise and can have an aura just before the onset of the pain. Commonly migraines sufferers have nausea or vomiting and in fact will feel much better after vomiting. These migraines commonly last for several hours and then cause fatigue to the point where sufferers have to sleep for many hours. It is common for migraines to involve the cervical spine and physiotherapy can help with the cervical spine component of the problem.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are less common and occur with a sharp strong pain behind one eye. The pain symptoms can also come with a runny nose, red eye or a teary eye. 

Thunderclap headaches

As the name suggests, these very rare headaches hit hard and fast with high pain levels which can last for 60 seconds. They can be a warning sign of something serious so we suggest you get to a doctor or to hospital if you are getting these headaches. Physio is generally not helpful in these cases.

How does physio for headaches work?

We commonly find that patients presenting with a headache will have issues with their cervical or thoracic spines. Your physiotherapist will need to do a full assessment of you to see where the headache is coming from and which muscles are working too hard and which muscles are weak and not working hard enough. From this point, your physio will be able to design a treatment plan to get your spine able to tolerate loads more effectively and for your muscles to be able to control the movements that you need in your everyday life.

What is the Watson technique?

The Watson technique is a clinical reasoning and manual therapy approach which has shown good results in reproducing the symptoms of a headache and being able to reduce these symptoms with the use of manual therapy techniques. Some of our practitioners have been certified in the Watson Technique and find it a helpful adjunct to our treatment of headaches.

Headache Physio Treatment Specialists

At our clinic, we have several therapists who manage and treat headaches with a high degree of expertise. If you’re suffering from headaches, see one of the following therapists as soon as possible to get rid of your headache fast:

Our therapists will ask you about your headache behaviour to try and understand your specific symptoms. They will then do a full physical assessment to investigate what the causes of your headache are. They will then perform a treatment. Our treatments are very specific and gentle and we NEVER crack necks. 
Sometimes our patients will feel their headaches have reduced markedly even after one treatment session. Our therapists will likely give you a couple of really important exercises if you are weak in particular muscles.

Physiotherapy for Headaches in Newtown

We don’t meet a lot of headaches we can’t fix. So give us a call or book online if you need help. 

Give us a call on 9519 4913 and enquire today. 

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