Headaches are classified as primary or secondary:
- Primary headaches are those that are NOT associated with other diseases. For example: tension headaches, migraine headaches and cluster headaches.
- Secondary headaches are those caused by other diseases eg. Virus
Physiotherapists treat benign primary headaches. Increasing evidence suggest that the neck (cervical spine) has a large role to play in the generation of these headaches.
Signs & Symptoms
- Pain in the head, with the pain being above the eyes or ears or back of the head and upper neck.
- Pain in head brought on by certain head movements or sustained postures.
- Pain after long hours in front of the computer.
Keeping a diary of when you experience a headache can help you identify possible triggers. Triggers may include:
- Poor posture
- Lack of sleep
- Certain foods eg. Alcohol, caffeine
- Skipping meals
Good Posture is very important. Your head accounts for about 10% of your body weight. Poor sitting or standing postures will put strain on the muscles and joints in your neck. This is a major contributing factor to the development of headaches.
Painful trigger points usually develop in the muscles around the neck as a result of poor postural habits. Massage can help relieve these and this will help reduce the frequency of headaches. This coupled with specific postural stability exercises and Pilates can help prevent reoccurrence of headaches.
Advantage Healthcare and Physiotherapy physiotherapists can help you accurately diagnose the causal factors of your headaches and then lead you down an appropriate treatment path.