Physio for Headaches & Migraines
Types of headaches and their symptoms
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.