What causes headaches in your opinion?
There are different types of headaches which have different causes. Headache is a very common symptom with several large research studies showing that 80% – 90% of the population say they have had at least one headache in the previous year.
Types of headaches and causes are as follows:-
TENSION Headaches – sometimes called muscular headache. 70% of all headaches
are tension headaches. The pain in this type of headache is mild-moderate and affects both sides of the head. It is associated with neck pain or tightness in the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Tension headaches can be caused, as the name suggests, by tension and stress. Contributing factors include poor posture causing
stiffness in the small joints in the neck and weakness of the neck muscles; poor work-station set-up can further strain the muscles and joints in the neck. Eye strain can contribute to headaches as the muscles around the eyes tighten to squint
at a computer screen. Exercise will help a tension headache.
MIGRAINE Headaches – This type of headache can run in the family. The pain is often a “throbbing” type pain affecting only one side of the head and can be associated with sensitivity to light or noise. Nausea and vomiting may be symptoms of Migraine. Migraines can be triggered by hormonal changes, fatigue or sensitivity to certain foods. Exercise will make a Migraine headache worse.
INJURY such as Whiplash can cause headaches.
SINUSITIS – Infection of the sinus cavities in the face that can occur with the common cold can cause headache. Any infectious disease which raises body temperature can cause a headache such as ‘Flu or a chest infection.
TMJ Dysfunction – Problems with the jaw joint – the temperomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause headaches.
SERIOUS ILLNESS – headache can sometimes be a symptom of serious illness such as Meningitis, subarachnoid haemorrhage or an aneurysm. If serious illness is suspected, medical help should be sought immediately
Can a Physiotherapist help?
YES! Chartered Physiotherapists are the experts in the assessment of human movement and treatment of postural problems. Any joint stiffness or muscle weakness affecting the neck can be identified and treated to help prevent tension headaches. Treatment techniques may include joint mobilisations / manipulation, soft
tissue massage and active exercises to help with mobility; exercises to help with muscle strength or overall fitness; ergonomic advice to help with work-station set-up; relaxation techniques or acupuncture to help with pain.
The McNaughton Physiotherapy Team