Headaches are a very common symptom, that have been under estimated, under recognised and under treated. Headache disorders affect people all over the world and can cause difficulty with activities of day to day living. Physiotherapy can produce dramatic results where years of medication and dietary advice have failed. Although similar in nature there is a great difference between types of headaches and migraines. Please see below a list of common conditions we can treat at Mike Varney Physiotherapy in our Headache and Massage Clinic:
The most common type of headache, tension headaches are diffuse, unspecific headaches that radiate throughout the whole of the head. They tend to have a band-like quality and patients often use the word “pressure” to describe them. Often they are worse on one side of head and are mild to moderate intensity. They are often aggravated by emotional stress, anxiety and depression.
Slightly rarer are cluster headaches. These are recurrent, severe in intensity and sufferers often describe them as sharp or “knife-like”. They are sometimes also accompanied by eye watering, nasal congestion and swelling around the eye. They are also much more common in males than females by a ratio of 6:1
Cervicogenic headaches tend to start with neck pain that begins to radiate over from the back of the head over into the forehead. They are normally only on one side of the head and does not tend to change sides. There is usually associated neck pain that may worsen before the headache starts, although this is not uncommon with other types of headache and migraine.
Migraines are similar to headaches in that they cause severe pain in the head. But differ in that they also have associated symptoms including nausea and/or vomiting, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise and visual disturbances known as aura. Aura can present in many ways including blind spots, loss of vision in one eye, flashing lights and dark spots. In addition, sufferers can also experience numbness, weakness, impairment of speech and vertigo (severe dizziness). All of these symptoms are completely reversible and reside when the migraine attack ceases which can be anywhere between a few minutes and up to a few days.