Can Physiotherapy Treat Headaches?
Nearly everyone suffers from occasional headaches. However, before looking to drugs for reducing the pain associated with headaches, why not find out and resolve the cause of the headache to prevent it from re-occurring or at least reduce the frequency and severity.
Headaches are commonly caused my restrictions within the spine often due to poor posture or work stresses. When there are restrictions within the spine, the nerves and blood vessels that are associated with structures in the head often become irritated and cause tight and painful muscles surrounding the neck causing headaches.
There are many types of headaches, the most common being tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches and migraines.
Most people will experience tension headaches describing a squeezing pressure around the head. Migraines are more severe and are usually described as a throbbing pain.
Migraines can also cause other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite and visual changes.
The cervicogenic headache is related to the spine and causes most tension-type headaches. Not all headaches are caused by spinal restrictions, however, you should consult our Physiotherapists before beginning any treatments. During the consultation, a thorough physical, orthopaedic and neurological examination and sometimes x-rays will be conducted to reach a diagnosis.
Some patients will experience almost immediate relief from their headache with our approach, while others will notice a gradual reduction in intensity and frequency depending on the nature and chronicity of the problem.
Can Physiotherapy Treat Migraine Sufferers?
Migraines affect many people. The trigger for migraines are not yet fully understood however, changes in the function of the blood or nervous system in certain areas of the brain and changes in chemical balances within the body are blamed for causing migraine attacks. There are two main categories of migraines including the ‘common’ and ‘classic’ migraine.
The pain is generally located on just one side of the head, however, it can cover both. Symptoms usually include severe headaches with throbbing, pulsing or stabbing pains. Migraines can also cause nausea, loss of appetite, increased sensitivity to light and altered bodily perception.
Many people who suffer from migraines will experience an ‘aura’ this may include visual changes, sense of smell or other sensory alterations signalling the onset of a migraine. There are many potential triggers for migraines including stress, certain foods, some medications, changes in sleep patterns, hormonal changes (such as menstruation) and tension in the neck.
It is important to have your migraine checked by our experienced Physiotherapists as Physiotherapy has been shown to help reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. Our Physiotherapists will also conduct an extensive history, physical and neurological examination to help determine the trigger of your migraines and rule out more severe causes.
Our Treatment Method
True migraine sufferers often have a combination of a bad neck and hypoglycemia. The neck can be treated with manual therapies (MT), laser acupuncture (LA), transcutaneous (non-needles) electro-acupuncture (TCEA) and soft tissue massage (STM) while the hypoglycemia is addressed with dietary modifications, LA and TCEA to change hypoglycemic episodes.