Headaches

There are around 10 million people in the UK who get headaches of some sort at some time in their lives. These can vary from a mild headache which can be eased effectively with painkillers to a debilitating form of migraine.

What are headaches?

Just as there is no single type of headache, there is no single cause but rather, a combination of triggers that can cause the sensation of pain across the whole head or part of the head. It is believed that headaches are generally caused by problems of over activity from pain-sensitive structures in the head like blood vessels, muscles and nerves.

The medical profession divides headaches into primary and secondary, whereby the primary type is the most common, everyday type of headache which is not linked to any underlying condition. The secondary form of headache is indicative of a separate, pre-existing condition such as a bad cold or sinusitis.

Migraines are a further type of headache which are usually defined as something painful enough to make the sufferer unable to do anything but rest. It can be accompanied by an aura, dizziness and sickness and an aversion to bright light and noise.

What can Back in Motion do to help my headaches?

There has been significant research over recent years about the link between headaches and migraines to problems with posture, the neck and spine and general musculoskeletal conditions. It is no longer thought that headaches have a purely neurological cause. Back in Motion can work with you to identify the possible causes of your headaches. After a thorough assessment we can use physiotherapy techniques to improve posture and reduce tension in the neck and shoulders which can often cause headaches and migraines. Our therapists will show you how to use relaxation techniques at home so that you can be more in control of a headache.

What can I do to help manage my headaches and migraines?

The most important aspect of managing your headaches is to recognise the triggers that are personal to you so that you can act swiftly before the headache gets worse. Our patients have found the following advice useful for the treatment of their headaches.

  • try not to skip meals or go a long time without eating.
  • don't get dehydrated
  • avoid alcohol and smoking
  • rest as soon as you feel a headache or migraine
  • avoid stress where ever possible and use relaxation techniques if appropriate
  • keep a diary of your headaches, paying particular attention to food that may be a trigger
  • take exercise and try to spend as much time as possible outdoors

Call your nearest practice for more information.

Headaches