Those who suffer from headaches or migraines know only too well the disruption they can cause to a person’s life. It’s a silent pain that leaves people debilitated and unable to lead their life to the fullest. While many people reach for a Tylenol and soldier on through the pain, they’re only applying a band aid to the issue and not resolving the underlying issue.
The Different Types of Headaches
It’s estimated there are approximately 300 potential causes for a headache. Please ensure you check in with a medical professional if your headaches have any of the following characteristics:
History – It’s your worst ever headache, or different to your usual
Exertion – physical effort triggers the headache
Age – you’re over 50 years of age and don’t regularly suffer headaches
Despite – treatment, your headache persists
Acute – onset is sudden
Central Nervous System – you have motor weakness or slurred speech
HIV – or other immunocompromised conditions
fEver – or other responses such as rash
If you’re suffering from any of these redflags, please do consult with a medical professional.
Fortunately, the vast majority of headaches don’t require urgent treatment, all they’re lacking is a correct diagnosis. In a lot of cases, a physiotherapist can provide the answers.
How Physiotherapists Help with Headaches
Headaches can be classified in one of two ways – primary and secondary. A primary headache is one where the headache itself is the issue, and pain is a symptom. A secondary headache is one where the headache acts as a symptom of an underlying problem elsewhere. Often, the actual issue is in the neck or upper back, with pain being referred to the head. In this instance, a physiotherapist can investigate the underlying issue and get to the root of the problem.
Diagnosing the Problem
When you meet with a physiotherapist, they will ask you to describe your symptoms. In many cases, this can provide the clues they need to dig into specific areas of investigation. This will usually be followed by a physical examination, where the physiotherapist will assess range of motion, tightness of muscles and other potential causes.
The most common type of headaches, and one we see a lot in people who work in an office setting, is a tension headache. We treat this issue by eliminating any detrimental behavior that could be causing or contributing to the pain. Typically, this will include areas like posture, sleeping position, stress, or weaknesses in muscles.
Rather than reaching for a pain pill, why not speak to a physiotherapist about your headache? It could be just the remedy you need!
Ready to Help
Suffering from headaches and unsure how to solve the problem? VanCity Physio is standing by to assist. To find out more, or book an appointment, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.