Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches. They are caused by muscles surrounding the head and neck becoming too tight and causing referred pain, this isoften described as feeling like someone is squeezing the head, in a band-like distribution.
Usually pain at the forehead that extends across like a band. Many people describe it feeling as if the head is being squeezed.
Poor posture and stress can contribute to muscles becoming tight and irritable. This in turn causes pain and discomfort radiating into the head and neck.
Correcting posture and releasing the muscles that are a common cause through various methods will often provide fast, lasting relief.
Migraines are chronic headaches believed to be caused neurovascular changes in the brain. It’s believed around 12% of population will experience migraines, with around 90% of initial episodes occurring before the age of 40.
Migraines typically last between 4-72 hours and symptoms can be severe. Alongside this pain, other symptoms such as blurred vision or nausea may occur.
Migraine is theorised to be a pain syndrome of neurovascular origin. This essentially means it is a disorder of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord)
Studies suggest that relaxation, spinal manipulation and massage therapy is equally efficient to certain medications in the management of migraine.
Cluster headaches are extremely painful, and fortunately the rarest type of headache.
They are characterised by short, intense attacks of pain typically lasting from between 15-180mins. Pain is usually localised to one eye, tearing and congestion on the same side might also be present.
They are caused by a disorder of the neurovascular system. The conditions is not fully understood.
It is unclear if physical or manual therapy can help with cluster headaches. A thorough case history might aid a diagnosis and appropriate referal.
This type of headache results directly from dysfunction of the cervical spine (neck) and its associative tissues.
Cervicogenic headaches will often last between hours and days, with episodes more commonly occurring at the end of the day. Neck movements and pressure applied to the upper cervical vertebra will often cause aggravation. Pain is usually felt stemming up from the back of the neck over the head and around the eye.
Dysfunction to the upper 3 cervical (neck) vertebrae are often responsible for the onset and referal of pain. Disruption to the joints, disc, ligaments, or musculature around this area could therefore cause symptom onset.
Thorough physical assessment of the head and neck can provide an insight into structures that might be causing pain and discomfort. A treatment plan can then be created to restore function, relieve pain and prevent reoccurrence.